Council approves agreements with MagnetationIn just 20 minutes, Superior’s City Council set the stage today to move forward with Magnetation LLC.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
In just 20 minutes, Superior’s City Council set the stage today to move forward with Magnetation LLC.
Councilors approved two agreements to keep the city in the running for the company’s proposed pellet manufacturing plant.
Superior is one of three sites under consideration for the plant that could create 100 to 150 new jobs in the region. In addition to the Parkland Industrial Park, the company is considering sites in Itasca County, Minn., and Indiana.
All three sites are receiving equal consideration, said Larry Lehtinen, Magnetation chief executive officer and majority owner. He said the company’s goal is to have the plant up and running by early 2015 to meet the goals of its primary customer, AK Steel.
Agreements approved by the council during a special session today allow the company to have site control of the 135-acre parcel so the company can proceed with its permitting process. If the company decides to locate its plant elsewhere, the parcel would revert to the county.
In addition to the agreement that gives the company an option to purchase the county-owned land, the council adopted a development agreement that outlines the terms of the sale of the property if Magnetation decides to locate in Superior.
The development agreement outlines the terms of the project and the number of jobs if the company must create if does exercise its option to purchase the land to construct the $300 million facility in the Parkland Industrial Park.
According to the agreement, the company the project would have an estimated fair market value that would produce $24,000 in real property taxes by Dec. 31, 2016. It would also create at least 100 full-time jobs with an average salary and benefits of $68,000 per year for at least eight years.
Councilors questioned the company’s plans for construction at the site and how the company would operate.
Councilor Mick MacKenzie questioned how dust at the site would be contained, a concern he heard expressed by some.
It will be a very clean process, Lehtinen said. He said the raw materials for the pellets would arrive by rail, and a system akin to a vacuum will collect dust when the rail cars are dumped. Raw materials will be contained within the facility and won’t be stored in the open.