After previously saying yes to the new industrial park project in January, the Blue Earth City Council took a necessary next step at their first meeting in February.
They voted in favor of a resolution of support that will be attached to a grant application to the Federal Economic Development Authority (EDA).
"We need this resolution in order to complete the application for the grant," says Linsey Warmka, director of the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC).
The city of Blue Earth has contracted with FCDC to create the grant application, which is requesting $990,000. It was sent off this past week.
"The city has to show they are committed to this project and their share of the cost," Warmka says. "That local share will be around $866,000 and will be funded by the city bonding for it."
The total project cost is currently expected to be $2.757 million. However, that amount does not include a $1.1 million incubator building that the city has plans to construct at a later date.
"Call this phase one," Warmka says. "This is the cost of the land and the infrastructure. Phase two will come later, and that will be the incubator building."
The land cost for the five building sites is $803,725. The city is paying $22,000 per acre for five lots, located north of Interstate 90 and west of State Highway 169. Plus, they are acquiring one lot from BEISCO.
The infrastructure costs were included in a preliminary engineer's report given at the Feb. 4 council meeting.
The total comes to $1.959 million. It includes $966,000 to construct 40-foot wide streets with curb and gutter.
Also included is $256,000 for earthwork, $220,000 for sanitary sewer, $266,000 for water main construction and $250,000 for storm sewer mains.
City engineer Wes Brown says the plan for storm water includes construction of one or two storm water collection ponds on the northeast and northwest corners of the property.
He also explained the need for extensive earthwork, due to the hilly nature of the proposed building sites.
Warmka says that besides the Federal EDA grant, the city is also looking at a $350,000 grant from the state Department of Energy and Economic Development (DEED).
"Plus, we have received several local grants," Warmka adds, "which will cut down on the city's share of the cost."
Among those is a $200,000 grant from the Blue Earth Economic Authority and three separate $100,000 grants from Blue Earth Light and Water, Bevcomm and the Faribault County Economic Development Authority. In addition, First Bank Blue Earth has donated $50,000.
Warmka adds that they already have one letter of commitment from a business to purchase one of the lots. That letter is attached to the grant application.
"Plus we have another business interested in leasing space in the incubator building, when that is constructed," Warmka says.
The current proposal calls for construction of the new industrial park to begin in October of this year and be completed by September of 2014.