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Council approves subsidy for Brau Brothers

August 29, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - A southwest Minnesota brewing company is coming to Marshall, and at Tuesday's meeting of the Marshall City Council, council members voted in favor of offering a grant and loan to help make it possible.

A public hearing was held at Tuesday's council meeting on a proposed business subsidy agreement between the Marshall Economic Development Authority and the Brau Brothers Brewing Company. Brau Brothers Brewing is currently located in Lucan, but needs more space, said Marshall EDA Director Cal Brink. The business is applying for a total of $250,000 in Community Reinvestment funding to help it move its brewing equipment into the old Runnings store near the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Minnesota Highway 23.

Brink said the move would create about eight full-time jobs in Marshall. The craft beer industry is fast-growing and has some unique opportunities to offer, he said. Brau Brothers Brewing would bring visitors to town for brewery tours, sampling and other public events.

Brink said under the subsidy agreement, the brewing company would receive a $125,000 CRF loan, with a seven-year term and an interest rate of 4 percent. The company would also receive a $125,000 grant. Besides CRF funding, the business is also pursuing funding through the Southwest Initiative Foundation, bank and private financing.

Brau Brothers CEO Dustin Brau said the move has been more than a year in the making. In looking for a place to expand, he said, "We'd really like the opportunity to stay in the area."

Council member Mike Boedigheimer asked whether the city had discussed any security for the loan. Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson said if approved, the subsidy agreement would go to the EDA, and "that's the next discussion to occur."

The council voted unanimously in favor of the subsidy agreement.

In other business Tuesday, council members approved the replacement of a vital sewer line at the Marshall wastewater treatment plant. Marshall Wastewater Supervisor Bob VanMoer said a 24-inch pipe that carries wastewater from the plant's water clarifiers is collapsing and in immediate need of replacement.

The pipe, which brings wastewater from the clarifiers to the rest of the plant, is made of iron and was installed in 1975. VanMoer said a portion of the pipeline was replaced with PVC pipe last year after a cave-in. The rest of the line is equally corroded, he said.

"We continue to have problems with everything that isn't plastic," said Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson.

About 150 feet of pipe needs to be replaced. The sewer line between the clarifiers carries the plant's entire flow, and if it fails, the plant can't operate, VanMoer said. Because of the urgency of the situation, the city directly solicited local contractors, and D&G Excavating gave the lower estimate for materials and labor. Olson recommended the city award the project to D&G, at about $25,000.

The council voted unanimously in favor of that action.



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