KEDA UPDATE 5/17
Ahh, Spring. It starts subtly with the gradual lengthening of the daylight minutes. Then the seagulls and robins arrive, followed by the retreat of the remaining snow, and then the vigil around rivers and lakes losing their ice. The return of Spring brings a renewed energy and optimism here in the Northland with snowbirds returning and the beginning of the construction season.
In this Spring newsletter, we’ll provide an update on projects underway in the County, highlight a new retail store in downtown International Falls, meet a local couple that returned with a mission to make law enforcement safer, and provide a look at the Sandhill Cranes in Koochiching County.
Projects Moving Forward.
Data Center. Granite Digital, a local development group, announced in February that, after years of planning, it is planning to site a state-of-the-art, high density Tier 3 data center in International Falls. With support of the City of International Falls, Koochiching County and the State of Minnesota, Granite Digital unveiled the planned center at the 5.8 acre site of the former United States Army Reserve Center. Granite Digital in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), continues to work on facility design and details while also working on financing the project. Phase One construction is anticipated to begin in 1st quarter 2019. The Granite Digital team noted that several key factors made International Falls attractive as a location – annual average temperature, competitive electric rates, redundant fiber connection, accessibility through Falls International Airport, and local incentive support through tax abatement. As presented, this project represents one of the biggest investments in Koochiching County. Stay tuned, more to come.
Falls International Airport Terminal project. Construction of the $10.5 million new terminal project continues to stay on track for an anticipated late July, early August opening. The new structure will replace the existing 40-year old terminal and provide air travelers a more comfortable and modern experience. The construction has caused little disruption to airport operations and travelers.
Island View Sewer Project. The initial bids came back in February on the $17 million dollar (estimated) project well in excess of the engineer’s estimates. As a result, the county split the project in two phases and eliminated several low-density areas in the project area and re-bid the project. While the re-bid pricing came in closer to engineering estimates, the County will still need to have another public meeting, continue to seek additional funding and make final decisions whether to proceed in full or in segments.
Loony’s Pub/Craft Brewery. Brothers Matt and Paul Kavan, owners of Loony’s Pub in Ranier, poured their first beers brewed on-site at their expanded pub/brewery. It represents the first craft brewery in Koochiching County in the modern era. The brothers bought the former Woody’s Pub on Sand Bay a year and a half ago with the intent of developing and brewing their own beer. They’ve started with two initial offerings: Hoppy Folly, an India Pale Ale, and Flying Squirrel, an Amber Ale. Their plans are to continue to fine tune the process and expand their offerings. For more information check out their website – www.looney’spub.com.
For more information on the KEDA and Koochiching County visit our website – www.businessupnorth.com.