Rochester City Council Considers $300K Forgivable Loan For Crenlo
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council will hold a public hearing Monday evening on a package of public subsidies aimed at keeping the Crenlo plant and the hundreds of jobs associated with it in Rochester.
Crenlo, which specializes in manufacturing cabs for construction and farm machinery along with cabinets for a variety of commercial applications, was purchased by an investment group in 2019 and about a year later the ownership group indicated it was considering shutting down its manufacturing operations in Rochester. Since then, city and state officials have been working with Crenlo on the assistance package that would maintain and expand the company's workforce in the city.
The plan calls for a total of $750,000 in affordable loans. $450,000 would be provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development with another $300,000 coming from the City of Rochester. According to the City Council agenda for its Monday meeting, Crenlo will maintain a minimum of 336 full-time jobs and create a dozen new full-time positions in Rochester for the next five years. The proposal calls for the new jobs to pay at least $21 dollars an hour without factoring in benefits.
Crenlo has also agreed to spend $4.25 million on a building renovation program and Rochester Public Utilities is working with the company on energy savings rate incentives worth around a half-million dollars. If the job and wage goals are not met, Crenlo could be required to repay a portion of the government loans.
The City Council Agenda also includes a discussion about the city's seasonal parking ordinance that was postponed two weeks ago after the City Council meeting lasted over five hours. Councilmember Shaun Palmer is asking the Council to review the ordinance in light of a citizen petition that was recently launched by former Rochester State Representative Fran Bradley over concerns about the ordinance that include the length of time it's enforced and whether the odd/even side parking restrictions need to remain in effect during times when there are no snow events that require plowing.