ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

JobZ change could help Como expansion

On Tuesday, the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners unanimously backed a proposed change in a Job Opportunity Building Zone designation that could unlock an investment of about $4 million by Como Lube & Supplies Inc. The company is consid...

On Tuesday, the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners unanimously backed a proposed change in a Job Opportunity Building Zone designation that could unlock an investment of about $4 million by Como Lube & Supplies Inc. The company is considering a plan to build a new oil reconditioning facility next door to the tank farm it already operates at Duluth's Clure Marine Terminal.

If built, the operation is expected to result in the creation of six to eight jobs, paying an average hourly wage of $18.74, including benefits. Assuming the project receives the support Como seeks, construction of a new 17,000-square-foot plant could begin this year, said Andy McDonough, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority's business development director.

The new facility would process used oil so it could be reused for things such as chainsaw lubrication. Como already processes used oil for reuse in bituminous pavement.

Como still has made no decision regarding the potential expansion of its operations in Duluth, company President Zane Swanson said.

"It's still all up in the air," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

To help the project, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority has proposed removing the existing JobZ designation for 20,000 square feet of land near the St. Lawrence Cement terminal and transferring it to an identical-sized property between the Como Lube tank farm and Innovative Pine Technologies on Port Terminal Drive.

Businesses that locate in JobZ areas benefit by having their taxes waived until 2016.

"Basically, we'd be taking a little sliver of land from one JobZ zone and moving it to another," McDonough said.

"The good-paying jobs, the investment in the community and the benefits of recycling all work together to make this a great project, in my eyes," said Bill Kron, a St. Louis County commissioner and president of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.