Windom industrial park signs up first occupantWINDOM — As the North Windom Industrial Park accepts its first occupant, Aaron Backman, Windom Economic Development Authority executive director said they are starting out with a bang.
By: Alyson Buschena, Worthington Daily Globe
WINDOM — As the North Windom Industrial Park accepts its first occupant, Aaron Backman, Windom Economic Development Authority executive director said they are starting out with a bang.
Fast Spraying, producer of pull-type field and liquid fertilizer applicators based in Mountain Lake, will be the first tenant in the new park and plans to build a 72,000-square-foot building.
“They want to get going. They have been fast — no pun intended. As of yesterday, they signed the purchase agreement and they plan to start moving dirt later this April and start construction shortly after that,” Backman said, adding that Fast Spraying anticipates completing the building by the end of the year.
“We are genuinely pleased and excited to see our first occupant in the park and we anticipate that they will generate more interest,” Backman added.
Backman said other businesses have expressed interest in the new industrial park, including a warehouse that would be 200,000 square feet, if constructed.
While the size of the facilities built will be the determining factor, Backman said he anticipates half a dozen buildings in the industrial park when it’s fully developed.
“We’re starting off with a bang and jump-starting the process,” Backman said. “It’s fun when people are willing to make decisions in a timely manner.”
The city is currently advertising for bids to complete improvements to U.S. 71, construct internal roads within the park and to install water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines.
Bidding will be open until 2 p.m. March 7, and Backman said the city plans to award the bid on March 19.
“We have already been contacted by four or five general contractors and I anticipate that number will increase,” he said.
Construction will follow in the spring, and the goal is to complete the improvements on or about Aug. 12, Backman said.
According to Backman, about one-third of the costs are related to U.S. 71 improvements, including the entrance to the park on the east side of U.S. 71.
About one-fourth of the costs are related to the internal roads to the park and the rest of the costs are for water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines.
The project, located on 80 acres about a mile and a quarter north of Windom, will create 12 lots varying in size from 2.2 acres to 7.5 acres.
Funding for the $2.2 million project is coming through a variety of sources: $545,000 from a TED grant, $271,000 from MnDOT District 7, $550,000 from DEED, $646,000 from the Windom EDA, and $203,000 from local utilities.
If the bond proposed by the city in January would pass, the city would be allowed to collect up to $400,000, though Backman said he anticipates the city would need to collect less than that for the project.
“The key for us was the state participation with the TED grant and DEED dollars in moving the process forward,” Backman said.
With rapid progress being made, Backman said “there will be a lot of dirt flying out there in the next couple months.”
Economically, Backman said the industrial park will positively impact Windom.
“If things go as I hope over the next six to 10 months, over $13 million worth of construction and investment will go into the community,” he said.
Additionally, revenue will be gained through construction workers spending time in the community, staying in hotel rooms and buying groceries, Backman added.
Not to mention the jobs that will be created. According to Backman, Fast Sprayers will be creating 25 new jobs in its first year and will be adding more eventually.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at