Council approves changes for Chart

The New Prague City Council approved 4-1 proposed recommendations for Chart, Inc’s, business subsidy. During the Monday, Dec. 19, meeting, City Administrator Mike Johnson presented the proposal.

The subsidies date back to November of 2012 when the City of New Prague, Scott County and the New Prague Area School District entered into a Contract for Private Development, for the expansion of Chart’s New Prague facilities. The contract also had various other conditions providing for business subsidies as defined by Minnesota statutes. Among the conditions were that certain job and wage goals were to be met. Chart was to maintain 468 full time employees and create 80 new jobs for a total of 548 employees at the facilities. The original deadline for those requirements was October 8, 2015. A one-year extension was granted by the city, county and school district when it looked like the company would not meet those goals. The new deadline of October 8, 2016 has now passed.

Johnson noted the city and Chart, Inc., continued work with the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the numbers were better than originally presented in October.

The discussions included everything from initial employment to Chart’s Burnsville office employment to the use of overtime hours converted to 2,080 full time employee hours. Those were used to come up with the final numbers for DEED’s final decision of 468 jobs retained, and the creation of 35.75 jobs for a total of 503.75. Since Chart created 35.75 jobs, it met nearly 45 percent of the jobs it was required to create under a Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) grant/loan between the state, city and Chart. The original MIF loan was $499,000 of which Chart will have to repay $277,166.08.

City staff recommended the city follow the state’s lead for job retention and creation.

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To see more on this story pick up the December 22, 2016 print edition of The New Prague Times.