by Beth Bily
Grand Rapids-based ASV, a designer and manufacturer of compact construction equipment, hopes to move its out-of-state distribution operations closer to home.
At Monday’s meeting of the Grand Rapids City Council, Community Development Director Rob Mattei apprised councilors of the proposed project, which would potentially employ 13 FTE positions at an average wage of $19/hour plus benefits.
Mattei said he has been working for the past month with ASV COO Jim DiBiagio, as well as other economic development organizations, to bring the project to fruition. ASV currently subcontracts its distribution to a third party located in Southaven, Miss. That relationship was forged when ASV was a subsidiary of Terex Corp. Now an independent, publicly traded company, ASV is weighing the option of bringing the distribution center back in house and back to Grand Rapids.
Company executives say the Grand Rapids center option would include leasing about 53,000 square feet of warehouse space located on SE Eighth St. from Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment. The total cost of bringing the distribution center back to the area is estimated at $680,000, which would include restocking inventory, start-up costs, the purchase of floor equipment and some lighting upgrades.
In order for the project to proceed, the company is looking for local financial assistance including, a $300,000 IRRRB loan with low interest and forgiveness incentives, $20,000 IRRRB grant money from its business energy retrofit program and a $125,000 Department of Employment and Economic Development / Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority MIF (Minnesota investment Fund) loan.
“This is a very exciting project for Grand Rapids,” Mattei told councilors. “When it moves forward, with this assistance, the project will add to the community and will diversify ASV’s employment base in Grand Rapids.”
The IRRRB loan funding is expected to be reviewed this week by the technical advisory committee. Monday, the Grand Rapids City Council signed off on the MIF loan application, which would include a $50,000 forgivable portion (40 percent), if approved by the city’s EDA. A GREDA public hearing on the matter was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. That hearing had not taken place as of press time.
In other business, the council:
• Approved claims for the period of June 6 to June 19 in the amount of $848,106.53.
• Approved proposal from DSGW for planning services related to the IRA Civic Center for a lump sum fee of $16,000.
• Conducted a public hearing regarding a vacation request for a portion Seventh Street East right-of-way, adjacent to Block 1, Grand Rapids Third Division. Following the public hearing, a resolution authorizing the vacation was passed by the council. The vacation was recommended by the city’s planning commission.
• Approved a master agreement with the state of Minnesota.
• Approved a quote from Bargen Inc. for seal coating city streets: $53,685 on 7th Ave. SE from the Horn Bridge to 17th Street. MSA maintenance dollars will fund the project.
• Entered into a lease agreement with Marco of Bemidji for five Konica photo copiers for the city. Terms of the lease include a cost of $616.05 per month for 60 months plus maintenance fees.
• Approved a low quote from Rapids Plumbing and Heating for the replacement of a water drinking fountain at city hall in the amount of $1,799.
• Rescinded a previous motion withdrawing from the Greenway Joint Rec Association. At a later date, a joint powers agreement will be presented to the council for approval.