Nobles County Commissioners approve tax abatement for Round Lake facility

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday afternoon approved a motion to abate 100 percent of the real estate taxes on the Ferrara Candy building in Round Lake for a period of three years. According to Ferrara, that savings will be passed on to AGCO so they can use the facility as a warehouse, which could create 20 new jobs.

Last week, the Round Lake City Council opted to approve a 50 percent tax abatement for the same facility.

According to WREDC Manager Abraham Algadi, the Round Lake School District has chosen not to address the request, but if negotiations with the company between the city and county are successful, communication could still take place with the school district.

“Frankly the school unlike any of you, had they agreed to go with the abatement, they would have more than made up the $5,600 by having two students enrolled in their school as a result of this employment, but that’s their decision,” Algadi said.

According to AGCO Senior Project Manager Scott Berglund, any decision regarding the partial abatement would come through the Duluth, Georgia office.

“My job was to find an adequate facility - which I’ve been to many - and start to negotiate the terms, of which very quickly I hit a point where it goes to our legal department, it goes to our Duluth headquarters,” Berglund explained. “At this point I’m just trying to get the best financial proposal put together that we can and they get the ultimate decision making authority.”

Algadi urged the commissioners to understand the importance of the tax abatement.

“We often decry the lack of jobs or the lack of housing or the lack of whatever – name the challenge that is facing Nobles County and the community,” Algadi stated. “But yet when it comes down to taking a step forward or taking a position of leadership, we often times see the opposite happen, to the dismay of many. Guess what? Yes, it is $9,000 or $5,600 or in the case of Round Lake, 50 percent of their revenue. Think of it as an investment, both in your stance on how supportive of business you are and how you are willing to put your money where your mouth is.”

The commissioners unanimously approved the 100 percent abatement, and will approve the resolution at their next meeting.

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