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IFS proposes street closure to make more room for expansion

Perham city leaders are considering vacating part of a street to make room for an expansion at Industrial Finishing Services.

The company, which is in the midst of a major expansion project at its facility in Perham’s industrial park, is requesting the extra room in order to install a massive, 90-ton piece of equipment needed to meet air emissions standards.

After looking at all the possible places to install this equipment, the company proposed adding it onto the east side of its existing facility. In a memo to the city council, Perham Economic Development Director Chuck Johnson explained that this location would not get in the way of future expansions planned at Industrial Finishing Services.

The equipment, a 70-by-35-foot oxidizer, will funnel and burn fumes from the industrial finishes and coatings facility. It is a recent addition to the company’s ongoing expansion plans, and will ensure the growing facility meets air emissions standards set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The company’s proposal would require the city to vacate 9th Avenue NE, a cul-de-sac street that runs alongside Industrial Finishing Services, from First Street NE to the end of the cul-de-sac. 

A partial vacation of the cul-de-sac would also be possible, but it would create a dead-end street, which can be difficult for the city to plow and maintain.

A full vacation would mean the street is “no longer a city obligation,” according to Building Official Dave Neisen.

City councilors were briefed on the matter at a meeting Monday. A public hearing will be held at a special April 1 Planning Commission meeting, and then it will be brought back to the city council.

“It’s not every day we vacate two blocks of street,” City Manager Kelcey Klemm told councilors. “We wanted to give you ample time to review this.”

If the city agrees to vacate the street and Industrial Finishing Services moves forward with its construction plan, the company will need to build a support wall underneath the eastern expansion, to support the heavy oxidizer.

The company will also be required to purchase two lots connected to its current property, to “insulate the city from having orphaned lots in case there was need to reacquire them” in the future, according to Johnson’s memo. The lots would cost $21,450.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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