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Blue Earth takes next step to create industrial park

November 23, 2012
Jodelle Greiner , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - Blue Earth is giving businesses more potential locations, according to Mayor Rob Hammond.

The Blue Earth City Council gave Linsey Warmka, director of the Faribault County Development Corporation, permission to seek a $1.1 million federal EDA grant that will provide money to build an industrial park in the northwest corner of Interstate 90 and Highway 169.

"We need to go somewhere that we emphasis the infrastructure we already have," Warmka said. "We have I-90 and 169; let's use it."

"We'll continue to support other businesses in town," promised Hammond. "What's good for one is good for all."

He said the tax base will benefit the city and the new industrial park will give businesses another place to locate in addition to Main Street, the 169 stretch through town, and the industrial park on County Road 16.

Total cost of the project is $3.7 million, Warmka said. The city EDA has pledged $200,000 and First Bank has pledged $50,000. With help from grants and other support, the cost to the city will be about $1.8 million, she figures.

The project will include the purchase of six lots, infrastructure, street, sewer and water, and a 20,000-foot spec building.

The next step, Warmka said, is to prepare an engineering feasibility study and write the grant, which needs to be submitted by March.

The council's decision was greeted favorably.

"The county EDA is excited to be moving forward," said Jake Anderson of that board.

"We're excited about the project as well," said Travis Keister, vice-chairman of FCDC. "It's a big step forward for the organization."



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