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Granite Falls approves loan for manufacturing plant

GRANITE FALLS — Granite Falls City Council members approved a $200,000, low-interest loan package to allow SpecSys to install new equipment at its manufacturing plant in the community.

City Manager Bill Lavin said the action at the council’s meeting on Monday will help SpecSys acquire equipment that will improve its efficiency and manufacturing capacity.

The items include equipment to improve welding operations.

The 120,000-square-foot complex is one of three manufacturing plants operated by SpecSys. It also has manufacturing plants in Benson and New Ulm and engineering facilities in Montevideo, Cloquet, Redwood Falls and New Ulm.

Council members also approved action to call for a public hearing on a tax abatement request by the company for the manufacturing facility.

In other business, council members called for an estimated $1,564,000 worth of public utilities improvements for 2014.

The list includes an estimated $703,000 project to allow for construction of infrastructure to serve a nursing home that the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital is proposing to build. The hospital had petitioned for the improvements on Jordan Drive, which will connect Chippewa County Road 38 and Skyview Drive on the city’s east side.  

Council members also appointed Justin Bentaas of Sioux Falls, S.D., as the new director of the Granite Falls Economic Development Agency.

Bentaas is currently serving in an economic development position with the city of Sioux Falls. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with majors in political science and public administration. He will begin his new role on June 2.

He will succeed Dennis Van Hoof, who is retiring after serving with the city beginning in 1999.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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