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Two Local Companies Get Share of State Capital Improvement Funds

By Nick Davis, July 26, 2017

An Oskaloosa Company will receive tax credits to push a $13M expansion forward, while the Fairfield Foundry will reopen following action by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to seven companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 370 jobs and will result in over $111 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Ankeny, Des Moines, Fairfield, Huxley, Independence, Oskaloosa, Polk City and West Des Moines.

Faircast, Inc. to reopen Fairfield foundry and create 89 jobs
Faircast, Inc. purchased the Fairfield Casting foundry that operated for more than 90 years in Fairfield until it closed on June 15, 2017. Faircast is hiring some of the former employees and plans to reopen the foundry. Faircast’s project has a capital investment of $3.2 million and will include improvements to the foundry and the purchase of new machinery and equipment. The board approved direct financial assistance in the amount of $600,000, as well as tax benefits via HQJ. The project will create 89 jobs, 75 incented at a qualifying hourly wage of $19.52.

Clow Valve Company plans $13.5 million capital investment in Oskaloosa
Clow Valve Company operates a metal casting facility and machine shop in Oskaloosa producing valves and fire hydrants for water distribution systems. Products produced by Clow are marketed throughout the United States. The company is planning a $13.5 million expansion that will include upgrading equipment such as an iron melt coreless furnace, a brass melting furnace, automated machinery and pollution control equipment. The board awarded Clow Valve tax credits via the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program to create six new jobs at a qualifying wage of $19.63 per hour.

Continental Manufacturing Chemist to create 48 jobs in Huxley
Continental Manufacturing Chemist (CMC) provides contract packaging services for consumer products companies that wish to outsource their manufacturing. CMC manufactures liquids, gels, pastes and ointments for well-known and up-and-coming consumer brands. Product end markets include human health and grooming, cosmetics, animal health and grooming, household, pest control and automotive products. With a $6.9 million capital investment in Huxley, the company’s expansion plans will double its existing footprint in Iowa. The investment includes the acquisition and build out for a new facility, as well as manufacturing machinery and equipment. The board approved direct financial assistance in the amount of $600,000, as well as tax benefits via the HQJ for this expansion. The project is expected to create 48 jobs, 19 of which are incented at a qualifying hourly wage of $24.12.

Geater Machining & Manufacturing expanding in Independence
Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co (GMM) has been servicing the aerospace, electronics and high-tech industries since 1962. The company offers a variety of secondary manufacturing processes that help eliminate the need to send machined and fabricated parts to multiple vendors. GMM is set to expand the current facility to accommodate an increase in production. The project has a capital investment of $1 million and is expected to create six jobs, one of which is incented at a qualifying wage of $16.53 per hour. The board awarded the expansion tax credits via HQJ.

Ankeny’s Hy-Vee expanding operations with $64 million capital investment
Hy-Vee has 244 food stores in eight states with 23,227 full time employees and operates convenience stores, car washes, wine and spirits stores and pharmacies. Hy-Vee is proposing a project to construct a new 202,000 square-foot building to manufacture bakery products and ready-to-eat foods and to assemble food kits. Products manufactured at this site will be distributed to all 244 Hy-Vee store locations, as well as future sites. The board awarded this expansion tax benefits via HQJ. This project has a capital investment of $64.4 million and is expected to create 209 jobs, of which nine are incented at a qualifying hourly wage of $27.92.

Perishable Distributors of Iowa set to expand in Ankeny
Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI) is a subsidiary of Hy-Vee, Inc. with a corporate office and 350,000 square- foot warehouse facility in Ankeny. PDI is proposing a 108,000 square-foot expansion, which will include additional docks, floral distribution warehouse and additional freezer space. This project has a capital investment of $21.6 million and is expected to create one job at a qualifying wage of $27.92 per hour. The board approved tax benefits via HQJ.

Zirous, Inc. expanding West Des Moines footprint
Zirous, Inc. is an information technology and consulting company serving clients throughout the Midwest. Zirous has partnered with both Oracle and Hortonworks to offer its technology benefits to customers as the only Oracle Platinum Partner in Iowa and one of a handful of Hortonworks partners in the state. The company’s $550,000 capital investment project is expected to create 11 new jobs at a qualifying wage of $27.92 per hour. The board approved tax incentives via HQJ for this expansion project in West Des Moines.

Awards made to four startups
The Demonstration Fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period of time.

The fund provides financial assistance to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries. The primary purpose of the fund is to help businesses with a high-growth potential reach a position where they are able to attract later-stage, private-sector funding.

The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology. The fund is designed to assist businesses with new technologies that have completed the proof of concept stage and are ready to be subjected to the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage that includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs.

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.

Finkle & Sons developed The Oh Ball to provide relief for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. The West Des Moines-based company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for IP development and evaluation, product refinement and market planning.

InfraDrone is an unmanned aircraft system inspection company. This Urbandale-based company uses “drones” to visually inspect a variety of points of interest in three main categories:  infrastructure, energy and agriculture. Services include baseline establishment, delamination, crack and corrosion detection and more. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan to hire key personnel.

Polk City-based startup company, Lil’ Sidekick designs, makes and sells innovative accessories in the baby product industry. One product is already in-market with another in development. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for IP development and evaluation, market planning and market entry activities and equipment.

Zamorins Solutions is an up-and-coming software development company that specifically targets otherwise underrepresented markets and industries to bring about revolutionary change through disruptive software solutions. They have developed ParkZapp, a playground inspection app. The Des Moines-based company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement, market planning and market entry activities, key personnel and equipment.

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