Little Falls Council approves funding for Falls Fabricating expansion
25 Mar 2023
Business Expansion, News, Economic Development, Business, Manufacturing, Manufacture
Falls Fabricating’s effort to secure funding for a major expansion is nearly complete.
Monday, the Little Falls City Council approved a tax increment financing (TIF) district for the business. The city will also aid Falls Fabricating in receiving Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) dollars, as well as a business subsidy from the state.
The roughly $13 million project will include a 40,000 square foot addition to the building — which is in the city’s Northwest Industrial Park — along with new equipment, training and about 30 additional jobs over three years.
“We feel it’s a really great project for our community,” said Little Falls City Administrator Jon Radermacher. “Falls Fabricating, since they’ve kind of taken over, a local ownership group has really been successful in the work that they’ve done. We’ve been meeting with them since last fall and we’re just really excited about this opportunity.”
The Council had to pass three separate resolutions. The first was for the TIF district, which is related to the purchase of property currently owned by the city and developing that land for the building expansion. The next two were to approve the MIF and the business subsidy, which are required by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
For the latter two, the city will make applications to the state for grant funding, which will then be filtered through the city to Falls Fabricating. Radermacher said that is related to equipment purchases, as well as the additional jobs that will be created.
Before the deal is officially done, the city has to hold one more public hearing. The land being purchased is owned by the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA). A separate public hearing has to be held, April 3, to authorize that sale.
“There’s kind of a lot of moving pieces here, but they’re all really interconnected and working together,” Radermacher said.
He added that the state funding and TIF district are necessary components to help the project get done. The city has provided TIF districts for similar projects in the past, most recently for North Freeze Dry, along with supporting Wabash and Lakeshirts in 2022 with MIF funding and state business subsidies.
“It’s something we’ve done before with a lot of other projects that have been really successful in our community,” Radermacher said. “We’re excited to have them here.”
Community Development of Morrison County Executive Director Carol Anderson said the TIF district is possible because of the additional property the business is purchasing for its expansion. The plan is to add onto the building on the west side, the location of the existing parking lot. The new property will be the location for the parking lot, once complete.
She said the project was a sign of the good work done by a group of six Falls Fabricating employees who purchased the business in 2021 to prevent job loss.
“They’re growing greatly and they need the help in order to make the project come together,” Anderson said.