A local recycling company will expand its services, thanks to a loan from the city of Grand Forks.

The Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority on Monday approved a $14,051 FlexPACE loan to Countrywide Sanitation Company.

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Countrywide Sanitation will use the loan to purchase two new trucks. The company provides recycling and refuse services to businesses and homeowners in Grand Forks and within a 120-mile radius of the city.

Countrywide Sanitation says these new trucks would increase the overall amount of recycling done in the region.

"We've been hearing in the news lately that things are changing in the recycling business," said committee member and councilman Bret Weber. "Some might ask, is this a good time to be expanding?"

China, a large buyer of scrap plastic and paper, began restricting imports of those materials in 2018. This makes some operations more expensive for Countrywide Sanitation, said President Rachel Gornowicz.

"It's not going away, it's not going to change," Gornowicz said. "But we're still doing the right thing by recycling."

Gornowicz said the loan will allow the company to create jobs.

Countrywide Sanitation has gotten loans from the JDA in the past. This newly approved FlexPACE loan is the company's sixth, including two that have already been paid off.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $330,000. Countrywide will contribute $30,000, the Grand Forks JDA will fund $14,051 and Bank Forward is financing the rest.

Payment and interest accrual will be deferred five years. After that, the loan will be repaid in 12 monthly payments at 1 percent.

In other news

The JDA approved an updated Growth Fund policy that would allow the Growth Fund Committee and JDA to look at projects not in the primary sector outside of city limits. The policy had not been updated since 2008.

With updated policy approved, the JDA said it will offer a $66,667 loan to help subsidize a roughly $1.6 million loan taken by Eastdale, the real estate company for Northdale Oil. The non-primary sector project is in Thompson, outside of city limits. The Growth Fund Committee put its support behind the convenience store in February.

The Thompson City Council approved a $5,000 match March 4.

The convenience store is already in operation and is completing its final financing.

Border States Electric has amended a purchase agreement made with the JDA. The company was approved to purchase land in the business park in January, but since then, the size of the plot the company wants has changed.

The original purchase was $1.1 million for eight acres. The updated purchase will be just under $970,000 for about seven acres.