Alexandria Industries is planning a $17.8 million expansion - $13 million of it in new equipment.

At its Monday meeting, the Alexandria City Council agreed to back the company's request to support a job creation fund through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The fund awards eligible companies up to $2 million in rebates for creating or retaining high-paying jobs, constructing or renovating facilities, or making other property improvements.

Alexandria Industries plans to add 19,000 square feet to its building at 401 County Road 22 NW, known as Alexandria Extrusion Company. This will increase the size of the current 172,000-square-foot building by about 11 percent.

It will include a warehouse, manufacturing space, office space and new equipment.

Alexandria Industries employs 602 employees companywide and 487 work at the Alexandria facility.

To qualify for the job creation fund, a company must:

• Be engaged in an eligible business activity, such as manufacturing.

• Obtain local government support for the project.

• Invest at least $250,000 in real property improvements within one year of becoming a designated job creation fund business.

• Pay at least $13.27 per hour in wages and benefits.

• Have other location options outside Minnesota.

• Cause no undue harm to Minnesota business competitors.

• Certify that the project would not occur without job creation fund assistance.

Nicole Fernholz, director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission, told the council that the fund is performance-based for businesses that make investments in their properties and meet state thresholds.