Boss granted tax break for expansion

IRON MOUNTAIN — One of Iron Mountain’s major employers gained approval from the city council Monday for a tax break on a $12.5 million expansion.

Under the council’s action, Boss Snowplow is eligible for an Industrial Facilities Tax exemption for up to 12 years, providing a 50% reduction in local property taxes.

Boss plans to spend $3.5 million to construct a 45,000-square-foot building, plus invest $9 million in machinery and equipment. The expansion, which includes a new paint system and robotics, will allow for greater efficiencies and increased production. Along with bringing 24 new jobs, it should retain 15 jobs, according to the company’s application.

The agreement includes a stipulation that Boss will forfeit the exemption if it files any assessment appeals with the Michigan Tax Tribunal during the first three years of the abatement. Although the city’s desired policy is to prohibit appeals for the duration of the IFT exemption, it granted a similar concession to Systems Control on a $9.9 million project two years ago.

Meeting via Zoom, the council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

Lois Ellis, executive director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance, said Boss’s workforce will grow to more than 400 at its manufacturing facility north of Lake Antoine.

“This is really a major investment by The Toro Co. into our community,” she told the council. “We’re very pleased that they selected Iron Mountain.”

Boss, which makes snow and ice removal equipment including snowplows and spreaders, has been a division of Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro since 2015. Formerly a part of Northern Star Industries, Boss began manufacturing snow plows in Iron Mountain in 1985.

Jody Christy, Toro vice president in charge of Boss, said the company is “really committed” to Iron Mountain. “We look forward to future growth in the community,” he said.

In other action Monday, the council:

— Approved an easement through city property allowing the Millie Hill Condo Association to connect a planned residential development to city sewer and water services. The connection will be near the end of Phil Rahoi Drive where, to the southeast, a six-unit project is planned. The city approved plans for the private development in 2013, but no easement was previously in place, City Manager Jordan Stanchina explained. The association will own streets and utilities within the development.

— Accepted a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation for grant-aided paving on Lehman and North Kimberly avenues. The estimated cost is $407,800, with Small Urban Program funds covering $275,404 and the city responsible for the estimated $132,396 balance. The resurfacing on Lehman, which is north of Timberstone Golf Course, will start at the city limits and extend 1.04 miles east. North Kimberly will be paved from Main Street to the south about two blocks, ending past Hamilton Road. If the pricing is favorable, Stanchina said, the city may want to resurface Wickman Drive, which runs north from Lehman Avenue. Meanwhile, the Dickinson County Road Commission is considering paving Lehman, or Bellagomba Road, from the city limits west to Pine Mountain Road in Breitung Township. MDOT should be soliciting bids in late August or September, Stanchina said.

— Learned that work is starting this week on a water, sewer and street project on West C Street. The area is West C Street from Carpenter Avenue to Lake Street, and Lake Street from West C to West A streets. Hebert Construction of Iron River was awarded a $1.4 million contract in July. The project is expected to take about two months.

— Awarded a $7,900 contract with 1st Down Tree Service of Breitung Township to remove 19 dead trees in the city. The only other bid came from Quinton Olson Enterprises of Quinnesec at $11,870. The work includes cleaning up the wood and cutting stumps flush to the ground. Another bidder submitted an offer past the deadline, Stanchina said.

— Gave permission to Friends of City Park to expand the fenced skateboard area at the park. A slab measuring 30 by 50 feet will be added, Mayor Dale Alessandrini said.

— With the main pavilion at City Park off limits due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s tightened restrictions on indoor gatherings, agreed to allow anyone with current reservations to have first access to the open-air Bradley Maki Pavilion. The open-air structure at the park otherwise will be first-come, first-served.

— Appointed Ron Deuter to fill a vacancy on the Iron Mountain Planning Commission through May 19, 2023.


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