Manufacturers plan to expand, add jobs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Two local businesses would get expansion help from the City of Albert Lea, assuming they are able to meet some basic requirements about job creation.

At Monday’s council meeting, tentative approval was extended to a $125,000 loan to Vasco, Inc. &045; a machine shop &045; and a $150,000 loan to KleenTec, Inc, a subsidiary of Lou-Rich. The loans depend on a final review by city staff and the council of the wages that would be paid to any new hires that result from the loan.

The loans are parts of the financing for planned expansions of both businesses. The money for the loans would come from a revolving loan fund provided by the state, but administered by the city. The interest rate for both loans would be four percent, with a 15-year amortization and a balloon payment after seven years.

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According to Steve Overgaard, Vasco plans an 8,000 square-foot expansion that will allow them to bring equipment that is currently in storage back into operation. Three years ago they had merged operations from two buildings into their existing location and find they now need to expand the available space.

KleenTec is also planning an expansion of their existing facility, adding another 10,000 square feet to their manufacturing capacity.

Although numbers of new employees are still uncertain, Vasco anticipates hiring between five and seven new workers, at salaries in the $12 to $14 range, said Paul Sparks, city manager. KleenTec might add up to 10 additional employees, although the wages are not known at this point, he said. In order to qualify for the loan, the wages would need to be at least $8.50 an hour.

Final approval of the loans will come once the details covering wages and employees are more concrete.