St. Paul considers $1 million in incentives for company promising 330 jobs

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun
St. Paul

This guaranteed, right? In the PiPress, Nick Woltman reports, “The St. Paul Port Authority on Tuesday will weigh $1 million in financial incentives for a company promising to bring 330 new jobs to the city. The Port Authority’s commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to submit application materials for a forgivable Minnesota Investment Fund loan on behalf of the unnamed company, according to its agenda. The company has asked to remain anonymous until after the application materials are submitted to Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development … .”

Talk about a fan favorite. LaVelle E. Neal of the Strib writes, “Torii Hunter belted a home run into the third deck in Target Field on July 11, a week before his 40th birthday. He dared Father Time to show his face. But Hunter knew he couldn’t stiff-arm retirement much longer. He knew it as he addressed the Twins in late September. And he really knew it once he was home for the offseason. So Hunter has made it official. The Twins right fielder is retiring from baseball, closing the books on a 19-year major league career that included five All-Star Games and nine Gold Glove Awards.”

A couple farm-related items. First, on the harvest, the AP says, “The corn harvest for grain is now 81 percent complete, 12 days ahead of last year and almost a week ahead of the five-year average. Corn moisture content was 16 percent. Minnesota’s soybean harvest is virtually complete, more than a week ahead of average.”

Then, via MPR: “Minnesota farmer Loretta Jaus was lauded Monday by the White House as one of 12 national ‘champions of change for sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.’ Jaus and her husband Martin farm 410 acres in Sibley County and were organic before organic was cool. They got their first U.S. Department of Agriculture certification for some land in 1990; approval for the rest of the land and the dairy herd soon followed. Consumers caught up a decade later as U.S. organic food sales more than doubled over 10 years.”

Man, if only I could have avoided those pop quizzes in Algebra class. The AP says, “Minnesota prepared Monday to trim more standardized testing, echoing President Barack Obama’s weekend call to ensure that students aren’t spending too much time on exams. … A state Senate committee discussed how to reduce that burden, with proponents arguing that some ‘high stakes’ tests designed after federal education standards can be duplicative and pull students away from more valuable class time. Their goal could be buoyed by the president’s announcement on Saturday. Sen. Charles Wiger, a Maplewood Democrat who chairs the Senate’s education committee, said it ‘re-energized’ the need to chip away at testing, which he called a top priority for next year.”

So yes, she admits she’s guilty. But the lawsuit is still on. WCCO-TV’s story says, “A former top Minnesota Lottery official suing over her termination has pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving charge stemming from a serious car crash last December. Johnene Canfield admitted guilt Monday in Ramsey County District Court to a gross misdemeanor charge of failing to submit to a chemical test. … The 47-year-old was assistant lottery director before being fired. Canfield has sued the lottery on claims of discrimination on the basis of gender and for her alcoholism. She is seeking damages and reinstatement to the $100,000-a-year post.”

I don’t care if it kills me. I’m not giving up bacon. Says Mike Hughlett in the Strib, “Meat producers questioned the conclusions of a World Health Organization report labeling processed meats as cancer-causing. Those concerns extended to Minnesota’s meat industry, particularly Hormel and Cargill. … Austin-based Hormel Foods is a major meat producer, counting bacon, sausage and Spam among its many products. ‘Our Health, Science and Wellness Advisory Council will review this [WHO] report with our scientists and nutrition experts. However, these experts also understand that this report did not look at the benefits of meat consumption,’ Hormel said in a press statement.”

In a follow up to news of the death of Flip Saunders, Jerry Zgoda of the Strib says, “Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Monday that Flip Saunders’ health changed over a ‘three- to four-day period’ in early September. Saunders passed away Sunday from complications association with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the details provided by Taylor were the first on Saunders’ rapid decline. … What happened next ‘happened so fast,’ Taylor said. ‘He got a fever and from that fever … within a day, all of a sudden he was in the hospital. Once he was in the hospital, his situation changed very rapidly. You take it over a three-four day period, one day he’s walking around talking to you and four days later, we have a serious condition going on’.”

Funny story from Tad Reeve of the PiPress on how Saunders “saved” his marriage: “ … early in the 1992 season, he was just coaching another game in the CBA. I covered many of his games, and was stationed courtside a few seats down from Flip. I had just returned from my honeymoon, and still was adjusting to that ring on my finger. I never kept it on for long, fiddling with it endlessly, twirling it between my fingers. Well, it popped out of my hand during that game, and started rolling and rolling and rolling across the court, like a penny that didn’t know whether to land on heads or tails. When it finally came to rest, it was at midcourt, and players were zipping back and forth. I just sat there, watching, waiting, dreading the next moment, when some 6-foot-10, 230-pound behemoth would slip on my ring and break his neck. The third time players zoomed past midcourt, Flip rose from his seat, slowly walked onto the court, bent down and picked up the ring.”

One small business operator is on board and in the Strib with his thoughts on the Working Families Agenda. Dwight Alexander says, “There are a lot of single parents in our community who need to be able to take care of their kids when they are sick; there are a lot of people taking care of aging parents; there are a lot of people who are in need in other ways too — like needing to escape domestic violence. This policy covers all of that and ensures that everyone in our city can take the time they need to care for themselves or a loved one and still pay their bills. We must also remember that our employees are neighboring businesses’ customers. That means that all small-business owners have an interest in workplace policies that create stability and prosperity for all.”

Remember Neil deMause, oft quoted here during the Vikings stadium shake down, excuse me, negotiations? On his Field of Schemes blog, deMause has this to say about St. Paul and soccer. “There’s been lots of media talk about how this is a ‘coup’ for St. Paul; honestly it’s hard to say, without knowing the details of what it’s likely to cost the city or how long United can go before threatening to move and/or demand stadium improvements. Minneapolis may not get to have the team within its city limits, but residents can still go see games across the river, and the land that would have gone to a soccer stadium is still available for another redevelopment that might be open more than a few dozen days a year, and actually pay its property taxes as Mayor Betsy Hodges has insisted. There’s even the possibility — depending on the details of what St. Paul works out with United, whenever that happens — of a win-win here, where the city with the land that’s harder to develop gets a stadium at a price it can afford, while the city where tax breaks for soccer would make no sense at all gets to let United be somebody else’s problem. That’s assuming a soccer stadium actually helps promote other surrounding development, of course, which is an extremely dubious notion, given that it’s never happened before anywhere ever. But it’s easy to call a glass half-full when you still can’t see inside it.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Jim Million on 10/27/2015 - 10:33 am.

    Lamb Jerky, Anyone?

    Seems that WHO finally found old reports issued here many years ago. For those who don’t remember, that was when many of us began to nuke our bacon on paper towels, pan frying then being the suspected culprit…super-heated nitrates or something like that.

    So what, and why now, WHO?

  2. Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 10/27/2015 - 11:48 am.


    What the WHO fails to address is that it’s the dose that makes the poison on red meat and many other common things that are perfectly safe but have received the same label.

  3. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 10/27/2015 - 12:55 pm.


    Just to be clear, they’re promising 250 $13/hr jobs and hoping for 330. And they’re asking for $1.4M ($1M from port authority and another $400k from state job training).

    Might be worth it IF those jobs come with benefits, IF they’re long-term (at least 3-5 years) and IF they’re “net new” jobs and not simply competing with existing local businesses. Though, we could be better off, if this type of bribing businesses was prohibited nationally.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/27/2015 - 04:24 pm.

    The company has asked to remain anonymous?

    Excuse me, but the City of St. Paul (wearing its Port Authority mask) is being asked to approve a request without the public having an opportunity to know on whose behalf the application will be made?

    I can’t be the only one in town who thinks this is simply wrong.

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