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Four Greater Minnesota Cities Awarded Infrastructure Grants

Funding will support economic development in North Mankato, Otsego, Ely and Thief River Falls

ST. PAUL – Grants totaling $3.25 million were approved by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for infrastructure projects in four Greater Minnesota communities.

DEED awarded the funding from its Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program for projects in North Mankato, Otsego, Ely and Thief River Falls. The grants were approved during the first quarter of 2018. The grants are expected to create 1,050 new jobs.

“These grants demonstrate how state government and the private sector can collaborate to create greater opportunity and continued economic growth throughout Minnesota,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Working together, these business expansions will support vibrant communities and create nearly 1,050 new jobs in North Mankato, Otsego, Ely and Thief River Falls.”

“These cities will add jobs, increase their tax bases and attract businesses because of the support they received from this program,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “These grants are an important economic development tool for communities throughout the state.”

Under the program, DEED awards grants for 50 percent of the cost of public infrastructure that supports economic development outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Eligible public infrastructure includes wastewater collection and treatment, drinking water, storm sewers, utility extensions and streets.

The DEED website has more details about the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program.

The following is a breakdown of the latest funding round:

Ely, $550,000

The city of Ely was awarded $550,000 to assist with improvements to 17th Avenue along the east side of the current business park. Infrastructure improvements will consist of constructing an all-season 10-ton road to provide sufficient year-round use for the industrial park. There are several businesses in this park, including Razer’s Edge

North Mankato, $394,209

The city of North Mankato was awarded $394,209 to expand the North Port Industrial Park. Utility extensions will provide storm sewer and sanitary sewer and water services for an additional 50 acres of speculative industrial park space owned by the North Mankato Port Authority. The city is confident the expanded industrial park will be a desirable place for employers to locate.

Otsego, $704,724

The city of Otsego was awarded $704,724 to assist with the extension of water and sewer service to create a 77-acre industrial park and facilitate a business expansion. Bury Companies Inc. purchased the land and is planning to expand and build a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in conjunction with the installed utilities. The industrial park will be built to suit as businesses become interested in expansions.

Thief River Falls, $1.6 million

The city of Thief River Falls was awarded $1.6 million for public infrastructure necessary to expand Digi-Key Corp. The expansion includes a 700,000-square-foot building. This project supports utility extensions, roads and other public improvements related to the expansion.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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