ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud City Council has approved a request by Marco Inc. for a tax abatement of nearly $1-million. The office technology-solutions firm wants to build a new $6-million facility near McStop at I-94 and Stearns County Road 75.

The city's portion of the abatement will be approximately $817,000 spread out over 20 years. It became lengthier after the Stearns County Board of Commissioners turned down the abatement request. District 742 had already approved a $22,000 abatement over about seven-and-a-half years.

City Councilman John Libert says retaining jobs is a key goal of the city and Marco must keep at least 150 of the jobs here.  He says the city should send a message that they want to keep businesses like Marco in town.

The council passed the measure 6-1 following a public hearing with both support and opposition to the abatement.

Councilman George Hontos was the lone dissenting vote.