Mrs. Gerry’s to get TIF district for expansionPublished 9:49am Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved a new tax-increment finance district set up to assist in the 36,000-square-foot expansion of Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen.
Tax-increment financing is an economic development tool approved by the state that borrows against future increased property taxes of a business for present development.
Mrs. Gerry’s, at 2110 Y.H. Hanson Ave., announced earlier this year it will expand into the north of its existing plant, which has 85,000 square feet.
The added space will make room for dry goods and finished goods.
The company makes 120 products, from dips and spreads to macaroni and cheese, but its line of salads and mashed potatoes continue to grow steadily each year, with especially large increases in the sales of the mashed potatoes.
Chad Vogt, purchasing manager, on Monday thanked the City Council for approving the district.
The new TIF District 5-22 will provide nine years of increment beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2022.
Sixth Ward Councilor Minnow Brooks thanked the company for its continued growth in the community.
“Once again it shows that most of the growth that happens in Albert Lea is from homegrown companies,” Mayor Vern Rasmussen said.
The expansion is expected to result in the creation of at least 10 jobs.
In February, the company employed 143 workers.
In other action, the City Council:
• Called a public hearing for May 14 about the extension of the sanitary sewer on West Main Street near Hill’s Gardens.
The project calls for construction of a 12-inch PVC sanitary sewer line connecting the existing sanitary sewer line north of the Canadian Pacific rail to the Hill’s Garden area on Lake Chapeau Drive.
Cost is estimated at $319,000 with $122,000 being city cost and about $197,000 being assessed. The city cost is slated to come from the sanitary sewer fund.
The project calls for 16 properties to be provided with sewer services. While a majority of the homeowners are already in the city, the remainder would need to petition Albert Lea Township for annexation.
• Called a public hearing for May 14 to receive input about the reconstruction of 12th and 13th streets from Margaretha Avenue to the east ends.
The water mains in both of these streets were installed in the 1950s and ’60s, but have since gone through a number of breaks because of corrosion.
Along with the replacement of the water main, contractors are slated to slipline the existing sanitary sewer and replace the bituminous surface, curb and gutters.
Cost is estimated at about $962,000 with almost $452,000 being assessable.
• Amended the city ordinance dealing with open burning.
According to background information provided by the city, the previous ordinance banned all burning within the city limits except recreational fires.
The amendment addresses deficiencies and practices regarding burning in the city limits, without expanding the burn ban.
• Approved a conditional use permit for a new retail store with outside displays at 902 W. Main St. The store is expected to sell motor scooters.
• Authorized the replacement of a wastewater treatment plant blower that recently failed.
Cost is estimated at just shy of $75,000.
• Approved an employee wellness program for city employees.
• Approved an employee recognition policy for retiring employees. The policy authorizes the city to purchase a retirement plaque and provide money of up to $250 for a retirement open house.
• Declared Hometown Pride Cleanup Day to be April 28 or May 12. The day will provide city residents the opportunity to dispose of most items for free or at reduced rates.
• Accepted a $1,473 donation from the Friends of the Library to go toward the 2012 summer reading program and some of the winter program.
Look to Wednesday’s edition of the Tribune for information about the expansion of a Bancroft Bay Park disc golf course.