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BE EDA plans new industrial park

By Staff | Apr 29, 2012

The Blue Earth EDA has had a sign advertising land for sale at the proposed new industrial park site for the past several years.

Economic development is more than creating jobs and helping existing businesses expand – it involves planning for the future.

The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority and Faribault County Development Corporation are teaming up to do just that.

FCDC executive director Linsey Warmka and Mayor Rob Hammond have been working on finding a site for a new industrial park.

For the past several months they have been talking with property owners north and west of Interstate 90 near County Road 103.

“It’s been a lot of information gathering; finding out who owns the property and how much they are asking for it,” says Warmka.

“We’re also looking at all of the financial tools we need,” she adds.

How much land is needed hasn’t been determined; however, water, sewer and street additions will have to be done.

Cost of the infrastructure improvements are estimated at $850,000.

Warmka says construction of an incubator industrial building also is being considered at a cost of $1.1 million.

“It’s a rough estimate for a facility of about 20,000 square feet,” she adds.

Local officials have said another industrial park is needed because the current one is full and there is no access to I-90 in that area.

In addition to EDA monies and bonding to help pay for the projects, federal and state programs are being explored.

“Grants are usually tied to the number of jobs a business creates or increases the tax base,” Warmka says.

She says the USDA?has possible funding of up to $300,000 and the Greater Minnesota Public Infrastructure program pays half the cost up to a maximum of $1 million.

The EDA and FCDC has picked up support from a local utility company that could help the industrial project succeed.

Warmka says Blue Earth Light and Water (BELW) is very interested in seeing development north of I-90.

BELW officials are expected to meet with a USDA representative from Austin in June.

“If we get federal funding, that will open other doors,” says Warmka.

“Ultimately, we’ll have to find a business willing and financially able to locate out there,” she adds.