Cedar Rapids supports Cargill’s $36.5 million dollar reinvestment

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — One city is seeing million of dollars in reinvestment from a major global business.

Cargill, Incorporated is looking to make some upgrades to a soybean manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids, and the company has asked for grant money from the city and state. The Cedar Rapids City Council talked about that possibility at their first meeting of the year Tuesday.

In all, Cargill is asking the state of Iowa for $429,000 in grant money to help with their upgrades and expansion.

However, the city of Cedar Rapids would be required to match that money, which is what they were deciding today, and they agreed to match grant money from the state.  This will help Cargill with a $36.5 million reinvestment, made possible by the state’s effort to retain quality jobs.

“For the state’s program, it is based on a waged threshold based on our labor shed area. Just off the top of my head, that threshold is about 22-dollars an hour,” said the city’s Economic Development Analyst, Caleb Morgan.

Approving the plan means retaining 48 of those jobs and locking in Cargill’s future in the city.

“It’s exciting when you have a company that continues to reinvest. We know that means the likelihood of them remaining as a corporate citizen in Cedar Rapids increases dramatically.” said City Council Member, Scott Olson.

The project would include a $6.12 million building expansion and $31.5 million in new equipment.  According to Cargill, this will make Cargill’s soybean facility at 410 C Ave. NW, that sees 30-million bushels of soybeans a year, more efficient.

“Our priority is to continue effectively serving farmers in the community for years to come, and this investment reinforces our commitment to the Cedar Rapids’ farm economy,” said Tim Coppage, Cargill’s commercial leader for its northwest region.

Over 10 years, the facilities investments should bring the city $2.1 million in property taxes, sweetening the deal for Cedar Rapids’ economy.

Some citizens have expressed concerns over added noise and pollution, as the sites sit near Cedar Lake.  Cargill has assured the city council that the improvements will help with efficiency, while easing pollution with no added noise.

Now that it’s been approved by the city, on January 17, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board will review Cargill’s grant request.

If approved, plans for the project will begin to take shape starting February.

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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