BEMIDJI -- AirCorps Aviation is working toward a $1.2 million expansion and Beltrami County is helping in the development.
On Tuesday, the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners approved the submission of an application for a grant to financially assist in the project. The application will go to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for a grant through its Minnesota Investment fund.
The amount requested is $200,000. Greater Bemidji Economic Development Executive Director Dave Hengel, whose organization is helping with the process, said Tuesday that the funding will be provided to AirCorps as a loan.
Upon repayment of the loan, Hengel said 60% of the dollars will go back to DEED, while 40% will remain with the county. Hengel said the county can then use those dollars for other economic development projects.
AirCorps Aviation's project will include purchasing a building along Adams Avenue in Bemidji Township to expand its operation. AirCorps Aviation General Manager Erik Hokuf said the work will double the company's square footage.
The business, located at 1259 Exchange Ave. SE, focuses on restoration and fabrication of vintage aircraft.
"As we have grown as a company, so too has our demand for additional work," Hokuf said. "We simply have run out of shop space and this has held back from adding additional employees to meet the long term demand."
The expansion is projected to create 10 new jobs, which Hengel said will pay at least $20 an hour.
"We hope to have the renovations to the property completed by the first and second quarters of 2021," Hokuf said.