At Wednesday's Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board meeting, over $2.9 million in loans and more than $4.1 million in grants were approved to advance projects in northeastern Minnesota. Total combined project investment is approximately $34 million. The projects are expected to increase the regional tax base, create permanent and construction jobs, provide essential services and improve outdoor recreation. The loans are anticipated to create 25 new jobs and retain 73 jobs. The community and development infrastructure projects are projected to impact 345 jobs and create 104 construction jobs.

Bank Participation Loans: $236,000

Agency Investment $236,000 | Total Investment $940,895 | Leverage: 3 : 1

  • KMDA, Inc., Bovey: $130,000 to purchase the assets from two businesses and grow their production and product offerings.

  • Frankels, LLC / Dirty Dog Manufacturing, LLC, Ely: $106,000 to expand a currently owned building for relocation and expansion.

Direct Loans: $2,750,000

Agency Investment $2,750,000 | Total Investment $12,000,000 | Leverage: 3.4 : 1

  • Mountain Iron Economic Development Authority, Mountain Iron: $2,750,000 to construct new warehouse facility at the existing Heliene USA solar facility to accommodate its expanding operations. Other funding partners include Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development, St. Louis County and State of Minnesota Renewable Development Account.

Community Infrastructure Grants: $833,311

Agency Investment $833,311 | Total Investment $5,578,360 | Leverage: 5.7 : 1

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa: $70,000 to construct infrastructure for a 2,400-square-foot building addition that will accommodate the expansion of the Bois Forte child care and Head Start programs.

  • City of Cohasset: $250,000 to construct infrastructure for a 216-acre industrial site with a vacant 400,000-square-foot industrial facility previously occupied by Ainsworth for its OSB manufacturing. The project will create space for six new industrial developments.

  • Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: $146,925 to construct infrastructure for upgrades to the Grand Portage Community Center.

  • City of Grand Rapids: $250,000 to construct infrastructure for a 216-acre industrial site with a vacant 400,000-square-foot industrial facility previously occupied by Ainsworth for its OSB manufacturing. The project will create space for six new industrial developments.

  • City of Hibbing: $116,386 to construct infrastructure for upgrades to the sanitary sewer system in Kitzville and North Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Development Infrastructure Grants: $987,000

Agency Investment $987,000 | Total Investment $10,530,044 | Leverage: 9.7 : 1

  • City of Buhl: $87,000 to construct infrastructure and sitework for a new housing development with 10 residential lots.

  • City of Hibbing: $300,000 to construct infrastructure and site work for the expansion of NorthRidge Community Credit Union into a new 4,680-square-foot facility on an undeveloped commercial property.

  • Lake County: $350,000 to stabilize the shoreline for the development of a new resort on Lake Superior.

  • City of Tower: $250,000 to construct infrastructure and site development for a new recreational vehicle park and campground on Lake Vermilion.

Regional Trails Grants: $2,361,861

Agency Investment $2,361,861 | Total Investment $4,938,722 | Leverage: 1 : 1

  • Breitung Township: $162,500 to reconstruct and improve McKinley Park paved trail near Lake Vermillion – Soudan State Park.

  • City of Ely: $50,000 to complete the final segment of the purpose-built Hidden Valley Bike Park.

  • City of Ely: $1,100,000 to complete phase II of the Prospector’s Loop Trail, which includes the construction of the Beaver River Bridge to connect Ely to Babbitt and Tower.

  • City of Grand Rapids: $139,500 to construct a trail connector between two multi-use trail systems in the southern portion of Grand Rapids.

  • City of Hibbing: $95,361 to construct pedestrian and bike trails at the new Carey Lake Campground and recreational area.

  • City of Mountain Iron: $310,000 to construct a new one-mile community paved pedestrian trail that runs from neighborhoods to the Mesabi Trail.

  • Itasca County: $16,000 to facilitate a facilitate a master planning process for the development of a mountain bike recreation area in the city of Nashwauk.

  • Itasca County Land Department: $50,000 to construct an ATV trail connector between the Alborn-Pengilly Railroad ATV Trail and the city of Nashwauk.

  • Lawron Trail Riders: $70,000 to replace the Balsam Creek Bridge which is connected to the Delbert Brandstrom Snowmobile, Balsam ATV and off highway motorcycle trails.

  • St. Louis County Public Works: $315,000 to complete three ATV club projects that impact trails managed by the Voyageur Country ATV Club (Lake Vermilion area), the Quad Cities ATV Club (Britt area) and the Northern Traxx ATV Club (Hibbing-Chisholm area).

  • Superior Hiking Trail Association: $53,500 to complete phase II of the Gooseberry Gap hiking trail.

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation is funded through taxes paid by Minnesota’s mining industry. Other infrastructure project funding partners include American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Child Care and Development Fund, Community Development Block Grant Program, Northland Foundation, Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development - Business Development Public Infrastructure, Small Harbor Improvement Program, St. Louis County Housing Redevelopment Authority, United States Economic Development Authority and private businesses.

Other trail project funding partners include State of Minnesota ATV Dedicated Account, Ely Nordic Ski Club, Federal Recreational Trails Program, Itasca Trails Task Force, Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Grant in Aid, State Dedicated Fund Account and Yamaha.

The projects approved at today's board meeting support the agency’s FY22 spending plan. Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation’s budget focuses on leveraging capital, improving the quality of life and retaining and creating good paying jobs. The agency works to support businesses, communities and workforce development projects that make northeastern Minnesota a desirable place to live, work and play.