As it meets tonight, the Merrill Common Council will discuss facilitating an expansion of Mitchell Metal Products (MMP), 905 State St., through a water and sewer utility improvement project. The project would not be eligible for TID funding as MMP is just outside the boundary of Tax Increment District No. 8. The city’s Redevelopment Authority had already recommended its approval.
“We can’t give a cash development incentive for a development outside a TID boundary,” stated City Finance Director Kathy Unertl. “All we can do is pay for utility infrastructure to service the project.”
MMMP’s expansion initiative emerges from the company’s growth, which exceeded 10% in 2016. The company anticipates similar growth in 2017 and beyond, the company’s owners stated in a letter to the city.
The new expansion would involve the construction of a 15,000 square-foot addition to provide materials handling and storage improvements. Five seasonal jobs are in the process of becoming permanent, with potential for the creation of 15 to 20 new positions. The development would represent an estimated $600,000 investment by MMP.
MMP is seeking the city’s assistance in bringing the water and sanitary sewer service from the State Street mains 30 feet into the MMP property. The water lateral and sanitary sewer lateral is estimated to have a $20,000 construction cost. The Redevelopment Authority’s recommendation is for the city to extend the utilities, either by the city’s own crews or by hiring a contractor to do the work.
“Mitchell Metal Products will of course be responsible for continuing services from that point to and within our building. An additional water line is necessary for fire protection and a sewer line for restroom services,” the owners stated in their letter.
According to MMP ownership, they plan to break ground on the addition early this spring.
“The project, which will include additional shipping docks, will more than double finished goods storage, product staging and shipping throughput, which in turn will enable our manufacturing and logistics to operate more efficiently,” the owners stated.