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Iron Range development projects get approval; 80 new jobs expected

The IRRRB approved more than $4.8 million in loans and grants for projects on the Range.

The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board approved several projects Thursday which, officials say, will create 80 new jobs.

The board is a state development agency that promotes and invests in northeastern Minnesota.

The board said its deals approved Thursday are:

  • A $2 million loan to Louisiana Pacific Corp. for its $7.05 million expansion in Two Harbors. The project entails a comprehensive rebuild of the existing press at the plant and is projected to create 17 new jobs and retain 112 jobs.
  • A $2.5 million loan to the Chisholm Hibbing Airport Authority to build out the airport speculative building in Hibbing for occupancy by Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing DMR. The $2.735 million project will accommodate a planned expansion by DMR, which is projected to create 50 new jobs within the next three years, while retaining 97 jobs.
  • A $60,000 loan to the Virginia/Eveleth Economic Development Authority to help with the $310,000 expansion of Premier Plastics into the Progress Park building, where the company plans to enter into the windshield market for motorcycles, boats, UTVs and ATVs. This expansion is expected to create up to five new jobs, while retaining 29 jobs.
  • A $285,000 grant to the City of Keewatin for infrastructure and site work for the expansion of Pro Blast Technology Inc. The total project investment is $2.9 million. Pro Blast expects to create eight new jobs, retain five jobs, and create 13 construction jobs.
  • $1.14 million from the Taconite Economic Development Fund was approved for United States Steel – Keetac projects.