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City, DEDA invited to apply for $3.5 million EDA grant

The United States Economic Development Administration has invited the City of Duluth and the Duluth Economic Development Authority to apply for a $3.5 million grant that will help build an aviation incubator facility in Duluth, Mayor Gary Doty an...

The United States Economic Development Administration has invited the City of Duluth and the Duluth Economic Development Authority to apply for a $3.5 million grant that will help build an aviation incubator facility in Duluth, Mayor Gary Doty announced at a Tuesday news conference.
The grant will allow the construction of a 63,000 square foot manufacturing facility adjacent to Cirrus Design Corporation, which is expected to be the facility's primary tenant.
"Obviously, we are ecstatic at today's news," Mayor Doty said. "We're happy that the EDA sees the importance of aviation to our community and we're delighted that Cirrus will soon be able to expand and
meet its many production orders."
Cirrus plans to use the facility for painting and tooling operations. Cirrus currently has production orders for over 650 of its SR20 aircraft but does not have sufficient production space to fill all orders in a timely fashion.
"This is tremendous news for us," Cirrus Design Vice-President Dale Klapmeier said. Our SR20 design has proven extremely popular and it's time for us to deliver them to our customers."
The City has already gone through a pre-grant process with EDA. Groups invited to submit formal grant applications by EDA are almost always accepted. The grant would fund 60 percent of the construction costs for the new facility, estimated at $5.75 million. The remaining 40 percent would be financed through the sale of a tax-increment lease revenue bond and the creation of a new TIF district in the area.
DEDA would then lease the property to the tenant, with lease payments going back to the city to pay off the revenue bonds.
The EDA grant is of unusually large size, which is even better news according to Mayor Doty.
"Thanks to this EDA grant, Duluth will have one of its best manufacturing expansion opportunities in the last 10 years," he said.

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