Waterworks Manufacturing expansion project approved

Cambridge city staff began working with Waterworks Manufacturing a year and a half ago on an expansion project, and the work has finally paid off.

Economic Development Director Stan Gustafson explained at the Cambridge City Council meeting Oct. 15 that staff has been working with Waterworks Manufacturing to build a 33,745 square foot addition to their building at 500 Cleveland St. So., which is currently 110,000 square feet. With this addition, Waterworks plans to retain 153 jobs and create 15 new jobs paying $12.19 per hour including benefits.

Waterworks Manufacturing is a company focused on the rapid design, development, prototyping and production of formed metal parts, according to its website.

Using state-of-art hydroforming processes, Water Works assists companies with design, development and production of engineered metal parts quickly and cost effectively. The company utilizes CAD design software, in conjunction with 3D simulation and FEA software, to design and simulate the metal forming processes, perform structural analytical stress assessments of parts or subassemblies, and to check and optimize metal forming processes to determine their feasibility before expensive tools are manufactured.

Following discussion, the council approved several items relating to the Waterworks expansion including loan, security, guaranty, promissory note and parking lot agreements, as well as a grant agreement with the state of Minnesota.

“This is a good project, Waterworks is a great company and this is a real positive for the city of Cambridge,” said Mayor Marlys Palmer. “It really is a wonderful company and I’m glad we are able to get this done.”

Gustafson explained Waterworks and the city have been working with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on a Minnesota Investment Fund loan based on job retention and job creation.

He explained they initially were working on a loan for $400,000 and within recent weeks that number was reduced to $250,000 due to a high volume of loan applications submitted to DEED and the lack of available revolving loan funds.

The loan, promissory note, security, guaranty agreements and amortization schedule indicate a loan for $250,000 amortized over 10 years with an interest rate of 3 percent and monthly payment of $2,414.

Gustafson explained funds the city receives from DEED is a form of a grant agreement with the city of Cambridge and as the city receive payments from Waterworks they are to return 80 percent of those funds back to DEED, which goes back into their revolving loan fund. The city will retain 20 percent of these funds for its own revolving loan fund.

Gustafson said the parking lot agreement is designed to help move the Waterworks building project forward due to the decrease in funds from DEED.

Waterworks had received all the approvals from the bank, closed on their loan and were working on the final plans to start construction when Gustafson informed them of the decrease in funds.

Gustafson said in conversations with Waterworks, they asked if there is any way they could delay a part of the parking lot construction for two years because of the $150,000 reduction in loan funds. Gustafson said staff discussed it, and decided to give them some more time. The parking lot will need to be completed by Oct. 31, 2014 or the city will complete the project and assess the property owner.

Minnesota Manufacturer’s Week

Mayor Marlys Palmer declared Oct. 22-28 as Minnesota Manufacturer’s Week in the city of Cambridge. Gustafson noted there will be a manufacturer’s roundtable meeting next week at National Recycling, Inc.

“It is a pleasure working with all our manufacturing businesses,” Gustafson said. “They add a lot to the city, along with all our other businesses.”

The following is the proclamation:

• Whereas: The manufacturing industry is a dynamic part of Minnesota’s economy, and promotion of this sector’s strength, success and high quality of life is an integral part of Minnesota’s economic development strategy; and

• Whereas: Manufacturing provides high skill, high wage jobs which significantly contribute to Minnesota’s high standard of living and economic vitality; and

• Whereas: Manufacturing has the second largest total payroll among business sectors in Minnesota, providing $16.4 billion in wages; and

• Whereas: Manufacturing produces $37 billion for the state economy and is the largest share, 15 percent of our gross domestic product; and

• Whereas: Manufactured exports brought over $18.4 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2011.

In other action the council:

• Awarded a bid to Bloomquist Electric for $1,293 to install motion sensor lights in the police squad room, rear hallway, workout room and break room in areas of the police department and city hall. The maintenance account for city hall has an adequate fund balance to pay for the expense.

• Approved a request to allow the Cambridge Fire Department permission to pre-order a fire department command vehicle. The vehicle will be a 2013 Chevy Tahoe that will include a four-wheel drive option for special services vehicles. Fire Chief Sean Okerlund said the department has budgeted $35,000 for the vehicle which will cover the cost of the vehicle as well as the lights, radio and graphics installation. Okerlund said it will take four months to receive the vehicle.

• Approved ordinance amendments that will now require the licensing of cats. There will be a $20 lifetime fee for the licensing of each cat.

• By consensus, the council directed city staff to investigate the purchase of a decibel measuring device. Council Member Chris Caulk brought up concerns he recently has received due to noise issues with SunOpta.