by Logan Gruber
On March 16, the St. Joseph city council approved $125,300 in tax-increment financing – a way to subsidize redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects with public financing – for Central Minnesota Credit Union. The council approved the money to be used during the next five years or less. The vote was unanimous.
CMCU plans to build a one-story, 14,000 square-foot member-services call center at 1140 Elm St. E., west of McDonald’s and east of W. Gohman Construction.
In a recent Newsleader interview, Rick Odenthal, CMCU’s CEO, said about 12 member services’ staff housed in the current location will be moved to the new building, and 30 new jobs will be created to fill the new building within the next two years. Some IT staff and other departments from their Melrose administrative center will also move to the new building in St. Joseph, he said.
In the request filed with the city council, CMCU estimated wages for the jobs in the new building to be between $19.35-$43.30 per hour. The document also states a total of 40-68 full-time positions will be added during the next five years, and the building is designed to hold a maximum of 80 employees.
The project will also see an increase in property taxes the city can collect from the building site. The current value of the property is $8,962, but the estimated value when the building is finished would be seven times greater, at $64,623.
“It will probably take 30-60 days to finalize design plans, obtain permits and for weight restrictions to be taken off of roads so heavy equipment can be moved in,” Odenthal said.
The initial cost estimate for the building totals $4.2 million, and Odenthal said it should be completed sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.
“The city of St. Joseph has been so supportive,” Odenthal said. “We really appreciate all of the hard work they’ve put into this.”