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Council acts to promote new development, job creation

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Perham's City Council took action at its regular monthly meeting on August 9 that they hope will spur new development and the creation of new jobs in the city.

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City officials approved a request from Industrial Finishing Service to apply for Job Opportunity Building Zone (JOBZ) program aid from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for a proposed major plant expansion.

Related to the Industrial Finishing Service expansion city officials also agreed to apply for Minnesota Investment Fund loan of up to $500,000 that would ne part of the $10 million financing package for the company's proposed project.

To allow another, unrelated project to move forward, the city council approved an application from New Life Farms for the creation of a new Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District for a new facility for the Wild Goose that they want to construct in the city's Happel addition.

As part of its JOBZ project, Industrial Finishing Service wants to purchase the current site in the city's Industrial Park of Advanced Structural Components and add an additional 58,000 square feet to the building and purchase the equipment needed due to the expansion.

IFS is now eligible for standard JOBZ credits that include an exemption from a portion of its property taxes, sales taxes and state income tax. The JOBZ program sunsets December 31, 2015. The company is obliged to pay the prevailing wage for construction work on the building's expansion.

The IFS project is a significant one and is expected to add 22 jobs initially and an additional six more jobs within two years. Wages for these jobs would range from $13.50 per hour to $24.14.

The company, at this point, is seeking financing from a commercial bank for the real estate and a separate commercial bank for the equipment.

City officials at their August 9 meeting also approved allowing the EDA, if necessary, to apply for up to $500,000 in financing from the Minnesota Investment Fund.

Perham EDA Director Chuck Johnson told the council that IFS needs the added space because of a major contract is has signed to paint military vehicles being manufactured by Oshkosh Truck, a company located in Oshkosh, Wis.

Johnson said that at this point IFS has decided to slow down the pace of the expansion to make sure that the company's cash flow meets expectations. They expect to begin the project in September.

New TIF district to aid Wild Goose project

New Life Farms applied to the city for the creation of a new TIF district in the city's Happel addition to help them construct a new facility for the Wild Goose.

The project area is located on parcels that are within an older TIF district-TIF district 2-30. This district is several years old. Forming the new district extends the TIF availability for another nine years, according to Johnson.

The new building, which will have three levels, will be built on lots adjacent to Perham Family Dentistry. The basement would be 4,000 square-feet that could be used for storage. The ground level will have 6,000 square-feet of retail space. There will be 3,000 square-feet on the second level for offices for New Life Farms, the corporate parent of Wild Goose.

The building will have a market value of $940,200 with property taxes of $27,042. Wild Goose will be obligated to create one full-time and two part-time jobs in addition to the current jobs at the Wild Goose.

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