Sherburne talks with Preferred Powder Coating

by Paul Rignell

Contributing writer

The Sherburne County Board welcomed Dan Bosshart, owner of Preferred Powder Coating, to a meeting June 4 and gave conditional approval for tax abatement that would aid his company on a move to Elk River.

But the board must wait until a public hearing and action by the Elk River City Council on abatement numbers, set for July 1, before the county commissioners can sign a resolution. That would follow county policy of awaiting city approval for such requests anywhere in the county, Board Chair Rachel Leonard said.

Preferred Powder Coating in 2009 acquired the assets of Profile Companies, formerly based in Rogers, and has remained in that Hennepin County city by operating in a 73,000-square-foot warehouse at 13251 George Weber Drive. The company would like to cross county lines, however, and build a 100,000-square-foot facility on 10.36 acres in the Nature’s Edge Business Center at Highway 10 and 171st Avenue.

Bosshart, who was operations manager for Profile Companies and serves as Vice President of Operations for Preferred Powder Coating, said they want to be operating in Elk River by early 2014.

“We’re currently leasing, and would like to own,” Bosshart said.

The company’s commercial paint applications have included work on computer chassis, air vents, automotive parts and lawn furniture, he later told the Star News. Preferred Powder Coating has added divisions for sign and graphic work, and license plate frames. The business expansion would involvedoubling the production lines, Bosshart said, and doing so could add 20 production jobs within two years.

County commissioners learned that estimated site preparation costs will reach $630,000 at the Nature’s Edge property, compared with maybe $200,000 for an average lot, for wetland mitigation. The company also will need to build around a gas main that bisects the Elk River lot.

Abatement for  packaging firm

The county board approved tax abatement not to exceed $26,339 over 10 years for Inline Packaging, which plans a 7,500-square-foot addition to its building in a Princeton industrial park. The company is a developer and manufacturer of microwaveable packaging for safely cooking a variety of convenience foods.

“We are the only company, that I know of, that specifically focuses on that,” business owner and packaging developer Jeff Watkins told the Sherburne County commissioners. He said that Inline Packaging has contracted with small, regional food distributors in addition to large corporations, such as Nestlé.

Watkins said that the last building expansion was in 2002, and the company pledges to add 25 jobs at the campus as a condition for the tax abatement in what Watkins describes as a growing market.

“I think we’re in the right place at the right time,” he said.