Council lends its support to economic development plansWith hundreds of jobs in the spotlight, the Superior City Council got to work to make sure those opportunities come to light.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With hundreds of jobs in the spotlight, the Superior City Council got to work to make sure those opportunities come to light.
From referring zoning changes and a proposal to vacate a city street to implementing a loan agreement and bonding for that loan, councilors approved a variety of proposals to accommodate development of manufacturing facilities for Kestrel Aircraft Company.
One proposal still to be considered by Plan Commission would change the zoning from suburban to light manufacturing for about 14.8 acres of land at the Head of the Lakes fairgrounds to a light manufacturing district. The area is planned for the second of two facilities where Kestrel Aircraft’s K-350 would be assembled. Plans are to construct the facility next year
The first plant, to be constructed in the Winter Street Industrial Park this year, is where the company plans to manufacture composite components of its single-engine turboprop plane.
Vacating use of North 46th Street on a portion of Hammond Avenue would allow for the construction of a runway that would allow Kestrel Aircraft direct access to Bong Memorial Airport from its manufacturing facility.
Both issues will be addressed by the Plan Commission on Feb. 15.
The council also authorized the issuance, sale and delivery of $2.66 million in taxable general obligation promissory notes for development of the aircraft manufacturing facility.
The promissory notes support the $2.4 million loan promised to Kestrel as the city’s portion of an incentive package that helped draw the new aircraft company to Superior.
Finance Director Jean Vito said nine bidders created a situation she’s never seen, a 2.2 percent interest rate on a taxable bond.
“This has been very exciting and exciting for the community,” said Mayor Bruce Hagen. “I’ve never seen a taxable bond come in this low.”
Alan Klapmeier, chief executive officer of Kestral and co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, announced Jan. 17, the company plans to build its manufacturing facilities in Superior and create at least 600 jobs by 2016.
The council Tuesday also adopted a resolution identifying Parkland Industrial Park as blighted property, a first step that could lead to the development of a $300 million iron ore manufacturing plant planned by Magnetation.
Parkland Industrial Park is one of four sites under consideration — others include Itasca County, Minn., Illinois and Indiana — for the project that’s expected to create 150 jobs.