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Industrial park to get $1.2 million federal grant

The city of Bemidji has learned that it will receive $1.2 million to expand its industrial park by about 68 acres.

The money, in the form of a federal grant, will go to the city of Bemidji and the Bemidji Development Corporation, which owns the land.

"It's a big deal," said Charlie Naylor, the president of Bemidji Development Corporation. Naylor said the grant is the fourth for the expansion of infrastructure in the industrial park.

The funds will be used to install water, sewer, street, curb, lighting and storm water improvements south of Carr Lake Road in the industrial park.

The industrial park, which was originally developed in 1974, currently contains more than 175 acres and houses 48 businesses, which employ more than 1,100 people. With the expansion, the industrial park will encompass nearly 250 acres.

The Bemidji Development Corporation is the landowner. Naylor said all the existing parcels in the industrial park have been sold - and four of the lots that will be created through the expansion also have been sold.

To pay for its latest expansion, the $1.2 million in federal grant funds will be used in combination with the following:

-- $498,295 in grant funds from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

-- $292,711 in city utility funds

-- $777,505 from the Bemidji Development Corporation, which also purchased the land.

Once complete, the industrial park expansion will add about 68 acres and create 38 industrial-use lots. It also is expected to provide more than 300 new jobs.

The expansion will include improvements along 30th Street between Cram and Herrington avenues, the entire length of Herrington Avenue, and Corrigan Avenue between Cram and Herrington avenues.