Inline Packaging eyes expansion

The Inline Packaging building in the northwest corner of Princeton’s main industrial park.
The Inline Packaging building in the northwest corner of Princeton’s main industrial park.

The Princeton Economic Development Authority (EDA) has voted to support Inline Packaging’s plan to apply for a Minnesota Investment Fund loan to construct a 7,500 sq. ft. plant expansion.

Inline Packaging, which currently has a plant of more than 41,000 sq. ft. at 1205 18th Ave. S. in the industrial park, designs, develops and produces specialized packaging for microwave foods. This would be Inline Packaging’s second expansion. This addition would be on the building’s east side.

The loan money would come through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), but originates in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Princeton Community Development Director Carie Fuhrman.

The city will actually be the one applying for the loan for Inline Packaging and the repayment proceeds would go back to the city to use in a revolving loan fund for other projects, according to Fuhrman.

Fuhrman did not have a dollar figure yet as to what loan amount will be applied for, but that would likely come out in a required public hearing for which a date has not yet been set.

The maximum available loan per project is $500,000, and the DEED fact sheet states that at least half of the project cost would have to financed through various lending sources and owner equity. The interest rate on the loan would be negotiated. The Princeton EDA board passed the motion during its regular monthly meeting last Thursday, to support the application for the loan.

Fuhrman noted that Inline now employs 49 and plans to add 25 more jobs with the expansion, which has a target completion time of this coming July.

Fuhrman said that city staff members are “excited” about a local industry applying for a loan in which the repayment proceeds can stay with the city for loaning again. She also indicated last week that she likes the loan’s requirements, regarding the pay scale for the added jobs.

According to DEED: “All funded jobs must meet a wage threshold of 110 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four, which as of March 1, 2012, is $12.19 per hour. Furthermore, each job must pay at a minimum, a cash wage of $10.25 per hour in outstate Minnesota (the balance may be benefits), and $13 per hour in the seven-county Twin Cities area. They would have two years to satisfy the job goals.