City of Crookston to assist New Flyer with expansion grant application

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    The Crookston City Council approved a resolution calling for a public hearing to consider a grant application to the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) program after being approached by New Flyer of America about an expansion on their facility. New Flyer is looking to add approximately 35 new jobs with their expansion and assistance from the city is key in their quest towards a forgivable loan from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) through its MIF program.

    City Finance Director Ryan Lindtwed mentioned that this would be Crookston’s first MIF application and that the process has deterred other cities from completing the application. He also told the Council the city would be receiving guidance from support people in the Minneapolis area.  

    A public hearing is just one part of the application process that would provide the needed citizen notification and involvement prior to the submission. The city would be requesting $280,000 based on the final job growth projections to assist with establishing additional jobs and to help New Flyer supplement the investment into their expansion.

    The public hearing will be set for August 23 at 7 p.m. and the city will ask that New Flyer be present to answer questions and provide additional information about their planned expansion. The council will also have the opportunity to vote on submission of the application at that time. Written testimony will be accepted at the public hearing and written comments must be received by the city by August 20. Specific questions can be directed to City Administrator Amy Finch at (218) 281-1232. Persons needing accommodation for the hearing for any known disability and to meet the needs of non-English speaking residents must notify Finch no later than August 20 to allow adequate time to make needed arrangements.

APPROVAL OF EPITOME ENERGY BOUNDARIES

    A memorandum of agreement will be coming from Epitome Energy’s legal counsel in regards to the land option and adjustment of set boundaries after having to rework the original drawing which shortened the intent of 60 acres that Epitome CEO Dennis Egan needed for the air permit. Finch explained that there was an issue with the way the original boundary was drawn that came out to only 55.51 acres with 60 acres previously agreed upon and the purchase price noting as such.

    She added that she worked with civil engineers at Widseth and Egan on the boundary adjustment to leave a piece of land open to others and added a newer section that meets the needs of the area, plus equals out to the desired 60 acres. The other change that was made on what they call the “Ag Innovation Road” where, because of the width of the road, had to push the boundary, so the city made it up with the revised land option.

    At-Large Council Member Tom Vedbraaten asked Finch about existing utilities and was told Epitome will still be able to use those and they’re waiting to find out what the water demand will be.

    Ward 1 Council Member Kristi Jerde brought up Vertical Malt and asked if space would still be available should they be interested in developing and it was confirmed there is space for them.