Wabash to move entire refrigerated division to Little Falls
6 Aug 2022
Business Expansion, Business, News, Manufacturing, Economic Development
Wabash National is prepared to undergo an even bigger expansion and make a larger investment in the area than what was presented just a few months ago.
Monday, the Little Falls Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Morrison County Rural Development Financing Authority (RDFA) held a joint meeting during which they heard Wabash’s newest proposal from Chief Strategy Officer Dustin Smith. The company — which manufactures semi trailers and other shipping accessories — plans to relocate its entire refrigerated trailer operation to its plant in Little Falls.
The plan would include the addition of 216 jobs in Little Falls and a $23 million investment in equipment for the facility, along with another $12 million in salaries, by the end of 2023.
In April, both the city of Little Falls and Morrison County approved a five-year extension to the 10-year tax rebate Wabash received from each entity when it first moved to the area in 2017 — $50,000 per year from the city and $40,000 per year from the county. That was in exchange for and contingent upon the addition of 140 new jobs and a $14 million investment to the facility, one of 14 the Indiana-based company owns throughout the U.S.
Once those were approved, Smith brought the plan back to his Board of Directors.
“As they were talking, they know they have to do a Phase III, and they were looking at Georgia for Phase III,” said Community Development of Morrison County Executive Director Carol Anderson. “The Board was impressed with the relationship that they had with the community here and they said, ‘Well, let’s do Phase III in Little Falls, as well. Could you get another five years?’”
Monday, Smith presented to the economic boards from the city and county the desire to move forward entirely in Little Falls. In exchange, he asked for an additional five years of tax rebates, meaning they will last until 2037 — a total of 20 years. He said by the end of next year, with that help, Wabash hopes to be manufacturing 3,000 refrigerated trailers in Little Falls, along with 2,000 smaller trailers.
He said he refers to it as his “All-In Plan” in Little Falls.