A pair of agreements approved Tuesday will help a longtime manufacturer nearly double the size of its facility, automate its processes and upskill its workforce.
Following two public hearings, the Rice County Board of Commissioners and Faribault City Council, meeting in a special joint Tuesday evening session, authorized a development contract and 10-year tax abatement for Tru Vue, which manufactures high-performance glass glazing products.
Commissioner Steve Underdahl, who has a business relationship with Tru Vue, abstained. Commissioner Galen Malecha was absent.
The company, located on 17.3 acres in northwest Faribault, plans to construct a $32 million, 70,000 square-foot expansion. It employs about 160 locally.
The abatement will impact Rice County and city of Faribault property taxes on the new construction only, and will lessen over the 10-year period, beginning in 2025. The exact abatement will be established in January 2024 once the county assessor determines the new construction’s valuation, but is expected to be nearly $700,000 over the 10 years.
While tax abatements are typically associated with job growth, the agreements approved Tuesday ensure the company remains in the city, Faribault Community and Economic Development Director Deanna Kuennen said. The expansion also allows Tru Vue to automate its process and provide employees additional skills.
In an August meeting of the two boards, Kuennen noted that Tru Vue, like companies across the nation, has struggled to fill open positions, using temporary workers to fill the gaps. The automation, she said, will limit its reliance on temps.
“Our goal is to keep existing employees,” Tru Vue Human Resources Director Mandi Morrissey said during the August session.
Jim Purfeerst, Rice County Board of Commissioners chair, was happy to support the plans. “This is a good opportunity to bring economic growth into Rice County,” he said.
Tru Vue and Viracon, which operates an architectural glass manufacturing facility in Owatonna, are both subsidiaries of Apogee Enterprises.
Sara Folsted, County Administrator
Suzy Rook. Communications Coordinator