Click here to read more about Preferred Powder Coating.
by Joni Astrup
Preferred Powder Coating has become the first company to break ground in Elk River’s new Nature’s Edge Business Center.
The company held a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday at the site near Highway 10 and 171st Avenue and is constructing a 100,000-square-foot facility there. It is now located in Rogers.
Preferred Powder Coating overcame some significant hurdles to reach this point. In August, a tax abatement package for the company fell apart in a split vote by the Sherburne County Board.
That led the city of Elk River to make a last-minute switch to tax-increment financing instead. In September, the City Council approved a TIF subsidy for Preferred Powder Coating of $1,153,878. TIF allows the city to capture property taxes from the development for nine years. The TIF money will be used to write down the cost of the land and other site development costs.
Company co-owner Dan Bosshart spent 20 years in the military and said during the ground-breaking that he is used to herding cats.
“Yeah, there were bumps in the road and we had to make this left when we should have made a right, but today we can say there’s a 100,000-square-foot building (being built),”he said.
Mayor John Dietz said he’s glad the EDA was able to give the company a $200,000 forgivable loan and that the city was able to create a TIF district for them on short notice.
“This has been a tough deal for Dan (Bosshart). He’s had to go through a lot of hoops to get to this point,” Dietz said. “I give him a lot of credit for preserving. It’s been frustrating for the city, too, but I’m glad we’re here to this point now and that’s all behind us.”
He gave Bosshart a certificate from Gov. Mark Dayton, congratulating him for his contribution to the economic development of the state.
Elk River Economic Development Authority President Dan Tveite: said: “From an economic development standpoint, I think we’ve used every tool in our book to get Preferred Powder Coating here.” He described it as a win-win, with the city getting an employer that will bring 50 jobs to the city and the company getting a “tremendous site” where it can grow and become part of a community that wants it there.
Sherburne County Commissioner Bruce Anderson said a lot of work took place to make the deal succeed and he thanked those who made it happen.
Preferred Powder Coating is “going to be a great business and create great jobs here,” he said.
Anderson and Commissioner Rachel Leonard had been the two votes on the county board to support the full tax abatement package.
Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, and a representative of RJRyan Construction also spoke.
Zerwas said the project wouldn’t have happened without the company’s owners sticking with the process and seeing it through to the end.
“A lot of times government can incentivize businesses to come (to a city),” Zerwas said. “But, more importantly, a lot of times government can just get out of the way, and let jobs create themselves, let businesses flourish and stop being an impediment.”
Kiffmeyer thanked Preferred Powder Coating for doing business in Minnesota and in Elk River.
“Fifty employees is a big deal,” she said.