Cirrus wants to expand Grand Forks, N.D., facilityA $950,000 loan that will allow Cirrus Aircraft to expand its Grand Forks, N.D., operations got the go-ahead this week from an economic development group there.
By: News Tribune and Forum News Service staff, Duluth News Tribune
A $950,000 loan that will allow Cirrus Aircraft to expand its Grand Forks, N.D., operations got the go-ahead this week from an economic development group there.
Cirrus operates a shop in Grand Forks that produces composite parts for its airplanes, employing about 100 people. The loan will go toward the purchase of manufacturing equipment and expansion of its production facility in Grand Forks, creating about 10 more jobs.
It will allow Cirrus to do work in Grand Forks that it now outsources to other companies, saving Cirrus about $3,000 per plane, said William King, the company’s vice president of business administration.
The company sought the loan from the Grand Forks Growth Fund Committee. Its passage came Monday with an apology from the committee chairman, Doug Christensen.
At the committee’s previous meeting, Christensen had aggressively challenged the company’s finances, though the company has paid its rent and obligations in the city for 15 years.
In Duluth, CEO Dale Klapmeier called the treatment inappropriate and unfair.
“This is an investment in a company to help it grow and in a community,” he said. “We provided everything we were asked to provide.”
The previous meeting was adjourned until King could return with more information to bolster Cirrus’ case for the loan. When the committee met again Monday, Christensen took a different tone with an apology and explanation that he failed to trust a company that was “a valuable member of the corporate community.”
The loan still must be approved by the Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority on March 18. The expansion could be completed by September, King said.