John Hageman covers local business and Grand Forks' legislative delegation. Get more business news at aroundtown.areavoices.com.
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A federal tax incentive that some see as critical to supporting the wind energy industry expired at the end of 2014, but some congressional lawmakers and advocates are pushing for its extension. The production tax credit for wind provides 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced. The credit has face uncertainty and expirations before, which industry officials said led to a slowdown and a loss of jobs. Uncertainty over the credit's future was partly blamed for the loss of hundreds of jobs at Grand Forks' LM Wind Power plant, where the company makes wind turbine blades.
One year after nearly leading the nation in income growth, pocketbooks took a hit in the upper Red River Valley in 2013. Per capita personal income -- the income received from all sources, including wages, owning a home or businesses and financial assets -- dipped 2.6 percent in Grand Forks and Polk counties in 2013, worst in the nation, according to November federal data. That came just one year after the Grand Forks metropolitan statistical area was tied for third in the U.S.
Several stores have recently left or are preparing to close in Grand Forks' Columbia Mall. Foot Locker and Wet Seal have both departed in recent weeks, and teen clothing retailer Deb Shops is holding a going-out-of-business sale. Wet Seal's closure came as the California chain filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
Emotions were high in a closed-door meeting in August between the city of East Grand Forks and a business that received a $510,000 loan more than a decade ago that has since gone unpaid. The meeting included the City Council and Economic Development and Housing Authority Board as well as representatives of Boardwalk Enterprises, which owns the Boardwalk building.
A new survey from North Dakota State University found that about 3 percent of North Dakota college students who tried to vote in November's election "were unable to participate due...
Arctic Cat, the maker of snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles in Thief River Falls, Minn., announced Monday it has acquired an Idaho-based riding gear company. Motorfist LLC will continue to operate independently with its current staff in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after it was acquired by Arctic Cat. The company, founded in 2009, designs, develops and distributes riding gear such as jackets, boots, helmets and gloves.
The Grand Forks Growth Fund Committee recommended selling three acres of land in the city's industrial park Monday after some discussion about whether the city should consider easements in price negotiations. The Growth Fund recommended selling the land at 5150 12th Ave. S. for $1.50 a square foot, or $198,633, to All About Moving Inc. to build storage units.
The city of Grand Forks and other stakeholders are examining if any plumes coming from a proposed nitrogen fertilizer plant near the city could affect the Grand Forks International Airport. City Administrator Todd Feland said the review examines the potential effects of the plumes that could come from the Northern Plains Nitrogen plant and the feasibility of strategies to mitigate them.
The East Grand Forks City Council will consider a resolution at its Tuesday meeting to formalize its "wait and see" approach regarding an unpaid $510,000 unpaid economic development loan. The move would also mean the release of tapes of closed-door meetings over the loan, City Administrator David Murphy said. East Grand Forks loaned Boardwalk Enterprises $510,000 in 1999 to help construct the Boardwalk building, 415 Second St. NW.
A new Asian restaurant is replacing another in East Grand Forks. A sign reading "Tao Garden Sushi and Chinese" has been erected above Little Bangkok's old location at 302 DeMers Ave. Little Bangkok moved down the street into the Boardwalk building in 2013. Dave Scheer, co-owner of Little Bangkok, said they sold the equipment and the location to a friend who planned to open the restaurant.