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Perham vacates street for IFS expansion

Industrial Finishing Services is making rapid progress on its expansion project in Perham.

In the latest along a series of steps in the construction process, the company has been granted a road closure to make more room for a building expansion and loading area.

The vacation of a portion of Ninth Avenue NE was unanimously approved by Perham city councilors at their April meeting.

A public hearing on the vacation had been previously held at a Planning Commission meeting on April 1; no one appeared to speak against it.

According to a memo to city councilors from the Planning Commission, the stretch of road that will be closed is a small cul-de-sac portion of Ninth Avenue that lies south of its intersection with First Street NE. This part of the road is adjacent to IFS’ current facility in the Industrial Park.

The street vacation is necessary, IFS leaders have said, to make room for a large oxidizer that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is requiring as a part of the company’s expansion. The 70-by-35 foot oxidizer will funnel and burn fumes from the industrial finishes and coatings facility, ensuring that air emissions standards will be met.

City councilors agreed to deed Perham’s share of the vacated street to Industrial Finishing Services. The city will continue to have access to the property to conduct storm sewer and other needed maintenance.

IFS is also purchasing lots that adjoin its facility with an area south of the current expansion. These lots are likely to be used for another expansion project in the near future, as needed.

Related to that future expansion, the city council has approved a request by IFS to establish a Redevelopment TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District on a parcel of land adjacent to the west of the company’s property.

That parcel is currently owned by Huebsch Family Farm, and has been primarily used as a grain storage area, according to a memo from Perham Economic Development Director Chuck Johnson. IFS plans to purchase this property and steps are underway to close the sale.

TIF laws allow the city to define the property as eligible for Redevelopment TIF, as long as certain requirements are met. Building and Zoning Inspector Dave Neisen has inspected the property, and has determined that it meets the necessary requirements. The parcel is occupied by a structurally substandard building.

The city incurs no cost in establishing the TIF District.

IFS would like to begin moving the grain bins and other equipment on that property very soon, the memo states. Any remaining structures will be demolished.

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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