The IRRRB endorsement is seen as the first step in getting the project off the ground. The $440 million public-private project, which is expected to create 250 permanent full-time jobs in the region, still must be approved by company’s board of directors on July 29. The IRRRB board would then take a second vote on the project next February 2017.
Funding incentives for the public/private partnership includes:
- $400 million invested by Louisiana-Pacific, with $40 million coming from various in public funds.
- $10 million from the agency’s Douglas J. Johnson Economic Trust Fund.
$40 million from the 21st Century Fund administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
- $10 million from St. Louis County and ALLETE-Minnesota Power.
- State incentives including $3 million a year for 10-years.
According to information supplied by IRRRB, “following a North American site selection search to facilitate growth of their siding line, (Louisiana-Pacific ) made preliminary recommendations to build a 2-line Super Plant producing siding at Laskin Energy Park in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. This decision is contingent upon having a ready-to-build site."
“Driving factors in this decision include Northeastern Minnesota’s valuable timber resource, talented workforce and culture that supports accelerated, large scale, industrial growth. Locations in Michigan, Canada, and other local communities were analyzed by the client prior to this decision,” the report said.
“Northeastern Minnesota is sufficient in natural resource business. Minnesota is an international leader in the timber industry. The forestry industry has been the focal industry initiative for many years. This project perfectly aligns with our strategy of diversifying and expanding the economy,” the report concluded.
Site Work is needed to bring the project to fruition. A report noted “IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips is seeking Board approval for the expenditure of funds for a ready-to-build site for the Client. Site work needed includes roadway improvements, site preparation, storm sewer, water main, sanitary sewer, gas, electric, rail extension and spur. Financial and technical expertise will be deployed upon project approval providing periodic updates to the board during construction with full oversight and transparency.”