Brandon business has plans to expand while schools may consolidate
Voyager Industries, formerly Voyager Aluminum, plans to double manufacturing and office space in Brandon. Meanwhile, the school district is polling residents on the potential of combining Brandon and Evansville schools completely. Both changes would be effective July 2013.
At Tuesday's county board meeting, Douglas County Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow informed commissioners of a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district in the city of Brandon. The TIF plan submitted from the financial firm Ehlers and Associates identifies the district's location in the northeast edge of Brandon city limits off County Road 7.
If approved, the TIF district will allow for a two-part development of the Voyager expansion, which currently includes two parcels in Brandon encompassing 11.5 acres. Initial construction, scheduled to begin in July 2013, consists of 3,100 square feet of office space, additional parking, curb cut and a driveway.
Phase two would add 40,000 square feet to existing manufacturing and warehouse space, doubling the current size. Development is anticipated to wrap up next spring, according to Ehlers.
The original net tax capacity will be certified based on the market values placed on the property in 2013 for taxes payable in 2014. First year tax capacity is estimated at $60,696 with an ending estimate of $71,115 in the final year. The TIF district will remain for eight years.
Total estimated tax increment revenue for the district is $540,752 with $54,075 interest. The city will be authorized to issue pay-as-you-go secure bonds in a maximum principal amount of $424,605.
Voyager Industries is a private company that has manufacturing facilities in Brandon and also in Humboldt, Iowa. The company employs 80 people between Voyager Aluminum, Voyager Dock, Titan Deck, Yetti Fish Houses and Humboldt Conveyers and Fabrication. The Brandon facility employs approximately 55 people. Currently the operation has a total of 80,000 square feet of warehouse space between the two locations.
A public hearing will be held by the Brandon City Council at City Hall on July 1 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the TIF district. Both Douglas County and the Brandon School District were notified of the hearing.
Additionally, Rosenow received a notice of approval from the Department of Education regarding the consolidation of school Districts 207 in Brandon and District 208 in Evansville.
An election to consolidate the two school districts will be held at both schools on Tuesday, June 25 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For information on voting, visit www.sos.state.mn.us.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.