I.R.R.R.B Continues to Create Jobs Despite Economic Hardship

By KBJR News 1

August 18, 2011 Updated Aug 18, 2011 at 7:22 PM CDT

EVELETH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Loans and grants offered by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board have helped to create thousands of jobs over the years.

The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board lost nearly $300,000 this year when the Minnesota Legislature took money from their budget to bolster state coffers.

But despite a 35 percent drop from last year's budget the I.R.R.R.B is still working to create economic growth on the Iron Range.

"If there is money just sitting out there in an area that is not being utilized, I'd like to repurpose that money to make sure that we are helping out because we generally get more requests than we have money," Commissioner Tony Sertich said.

The I.R.R.R.B passed its budget for this fiscal year while approving sixty new projects ranging from developing new businesses to renovating existing facilities.

Board members designed $17.5 million in I.R.R.R.B funding creating more than 800 full time construction jobs.

"These are real jobs for real people rather than jobs for lawyers lobbyists and professional meeting intenders," Tom Anzelc, a board member said.

Also at the meeting the board decided that Virginia and Hibbing public utilities will no longer have to pay interest on their biomass loans that total more than $8 million.

They also removed the debt cap from Magnetation to give the company more opportunity for expansion.

"Magnetation of course is adding value to waste we've had over many, many years, and that's what we are trying to do on the range, is to add value," Senator Tom Saxhaug, a board member said.

The next I.R.R.R.B meeting is scheduled for mid October.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch