Grand Forks group to loan money to Cirrus AircraftA Grand Forks economic development group has agreed to loan Cirrus Aircraft nearly $1 million following an apology by the group's chairman for questioning the financial stability of the Duluth, Minn.-based company.
By: The Associated Press, Superior Telegram
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A Grand Forks economic development group has agreed to loan Cirrus Aircraft nearly $1 million following an apology by the group's chairman for questioning the financial stability of the Duluth, Minn.-based company.
Grand Forks' Growth Fund Committee last week delayed action on the request by Cirrus for a $950,000 loan as part of a $1.5 million plan to buy equipment and expand its production facility in the city so that it can do work it currently outsources to other companies. Committee Chairman Doug Christensen said he was worried about the company adding more debt and increasing its monthly loan payment to the city for rent and previous borrowing from $70,000 to about $90,000.
Cirrus vice president William King said that amounted to an attack on Cirrus' integrity, and he also accused the committee of divulging confidential financial information.
Christensen apologized during a Monday meeting, saying he had failed to trust a company that was a valuable member of the city's corporate community.
"I can honestly say Cirrus will repay the city of Grand Forks," he said.
Christensen and other committee members last week cited Cirrus financial statements they said showed millions in losses. King said the numbers reflected Cirrus' obligations to its parent company, China-based CAIGA. He said much of the issue with the Growth Fund Committee was clarifying matters.
"I'm not going to lie, they've been very stressed," King said of company executives.
The loan still needs to be approved by the Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority on March 18.
"We've got your back," City Council President Hal Gershman told Cirrus officials Monday. "We love you in our community. You've got wonderful employees and we wish you a tremendous future with us."