BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Tuesday evening, the Delano City Council learned of a business looking into moving into the West Metro Business Park, and took action to support that possibility.
City Administrator Phil Kern told the council that Pizzey Ingredients, a flax seed processor and vendor based in Angusville, Manitoba, is considering the construction and operation of a milling facility in Delano.
“One of the steps in that process, before they reach an agreement with us, is they’re applying for money from the state,” Kern said after the meeting, referring to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Job Creation Fund Program. “The council approved a resolution in support of that application.”
Kern expects the state to process the application and respond within two or three weeks.
Delano businesses have a history of receiving Job Creation Fund dollars, as Sil-Pro and Industrial Louvers have successfully applied for them in the past.
If Pizzey Ingredients receives the grant, it would be used to help cover the cost of building a 20,000-square-foot facility in the business park, where the business would expect to employ 14 people.
Kern said city staff have been negotiating with Pizzey Ingredients representatives for about a month.
“I anticipate, if things go well, we’ll be talking with the council very soon about selling land and processing an application to build a building out there,” Kern said. “First, they want to make sure they’re eligible to receive state grant funding before they go ahead with it.”
In related business, the council discussed economic development options with the Water, Light, and Power Commission during a special meeting before the regular meeting.
“We’re working with another potential business in the business park,” Kern said. “We’re looking at what we can do on the economic development side to attract people, and if there’s anything we can do on the rate side to encourage new business to come here.”
The commission is working with consultant Dave Berg to explore rate options and incentives for businesses.
“Delano Municipal Utilities, later in January, is going to consider potential incentives,” Kern said.
He added that the business considering a move to Delano is currently located in another Minnesota community that has different utility rate structures than Delano.
“They’re going to look at it, and see if we need to make any adjustments,” Kern said of the commission.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• awarded bids for electrical, plumbing and mechanical, and insulation for the Central Park concessions building. The council awarded a bid of $18,725 for electrical work to Fobbe Electric, of Delano; a bid of $62,400 for plumbing and mechanical work from AR Engh, of Cokato; and a bid of $5,125 for insulation from Intex Insulation, of Cold Spring. City staff solicited bids from at least two companies for each bid, but only received a bid from Intex for insulation.
• reviewed and selected nominations for Employee of the Year, which will be announced later in January.