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Company Looking for Help from City Council to Build

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MANKATO, Minn. -

The Mankato City Council is looking to give a plastics company a few incentives to come to town.
Imperial Plastics has had a successful run in the 16 years since it was taken over by president and owner Norm Oberto, including the purchase of Rolco in Kasota.

Now the ever-growing company want to build a completely new facility in Mankato, thinking they'll have similar results.
Oberto says, "We built a new plant in 2005 and that was a 75,000 square feet facility, we filled it up in 3-4 years and so we really believe we have the opportunity that the same thing here exists."

The plant estimates they will add 58 jobs once it opens, and could easily grow to more than 100.

Along with Tax-increment financing, Imperial will also seek a $300,000 loan from the city, at a 3% interest rate for equipment.

Prompting questions from the council.
Chris Frederick asks, "So why couldn't all of [the loan] be [private] primary [financing]?"
City Manager Pat Hentges says, "It could. But it's part of an incentive package that we look at to enhance [ourselves]... [instead of] why not Owatonna?"

That rationale was echoed by representatives from the Mankato business community.
"It's a very common tool used in primary or industrial economic development and it's a very normal role for cities to be involved in that infrastructure type support for new business primary economy development."

With approval tonight, a tentative public hearing has been set for February 11th, followed by a vote.