ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph should be able to turn a chunk of town into an industrial park very soon, thanks to a grant from the state.

This spring, the city applied for Minnesota's BDPI grant, which is designed to help cities pay for projects that will help economic development. Projects can range from water and sewer, streets and utility extensions, to wastewater.

The grant is worth $1.2-million.

City Administrator Judy Weyrens says it should be a relatively short turnaround to get city infrastructure into the area, just north of County Road 75.

"We'd like to plat the property over the winter, then start the bidding for public improvements in January or February, for construction starting in April or May."

As for what businesses would move into the future industrial park, Weyrens says they've had some strong interest already from a number of different types of business.

"We wouldn't have a heavy-manufacturing business. We'd have maybe a light manufacturing business, a transportation type, someone with a product distribution or repair business, so we've had pretty good interest already."

The city in part applied for the grant to lower the amount of tax-exempt property in its limits. Weyens says currently, over 35% of property in the city is tax exempt, ranking St. Joseph 4th highest in the state.

She says this industrial park should help them lower that number.

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