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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development on Thursday announced $47.5 million in competitive business development grants that will fund nine economic development projects statewide.

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The grant winners were chosen from 90 applications, with requests totaling $288 million. The agency reviewed applications based on five criteria, including: project readiness, job creation, investment and leverage, regional impact, and public benefit. Projects were organized into three regions to achieve geographic balance, including: metro, north, and south.

According to a news release from the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the following three local projects were awarded funds:

- Litchfield - First District Association (224 Jobs)

First District Association is a cheese producer in Litchfield, purchasing milk from farmers in 36 Minnesota counties and surrounding states. To continue expanding and adding jobs, First District Association needs to work with the city of Litchfield to relocate sanitary sewer lines on its expansion site. The project will create 59 construction jobs, 30 full-time equivalent jobs, retain 135 jobs, and leverage approximately $100 million in private investment. The total project cost for public infrastructure is $5,100,000 and the total award from DEED is $2,300,000.

- Hector - Triple J Farms (200 Jobs)

Triple J Farms is a kosher and halal beef processor in Buffalo Lake, which wants to expand but cannot in Buffalo Lake due to wastewater capacity issues. The business and Buffalo Lake are teaming up with the city of Hector, six miles to the west, to expand Hector's treatment plant to accommodate Triple J Farms' capacity as well as those of the two cities. The project will create four construction jobs, 120 full-time equivalent jobs, retain 80 jobs, and leverage at least $1,250,000 in private funds. Private investment at Triple J Farms is expected to be in the range of $10 million. The total cost of the infrastructure for the project is $2,500,000 and the total award from DEED is $1,100,000.

- Redwood and Renville County - Renville Regional Solid Waste Board (44 jobs)

Redwood and Renville counties requested funds to construct and provide infrastructure for a joint material recovery facility to improve collection, processing, and marketing of recyclables. The project will create approximately 20 construction jobs, eight full-time equivalent jobs (public sector), and retain 16 jobs. The total project cost is $4,512,100 and the total DEED award is $1,898,750.

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