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Nearly $500,000 in loans will help trucking company move to county

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

St. Croix County's Finance Committee is recommending that the county participate in a funding plan that will allow a trucking and cold storage company to expand and move its facilities from Minnesota to Hammond.

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The committee voted Thursday to endorse a plan under which the Wisconsin Department of Commerce would lend $275,000 to Ristow Trucking, the county would lend Ristow $100,000 from its Revolving Loan Fund, and Hammond would lend the company $100,000 from its loan fund.

Ristow plans to build a 144,000-square foot cold storage and truck maintenance facility on 23 acres in Hammond's industrial park. The 18-year-old company specializes in warehousing and transporting refrigerated and frozen food.

Ristow's administrative offices will stay in Somerset, but its other facilities will be moved from southern Minnesota, said Ann Raid, who is economic development planner for West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

The company wants to consolidate its services and applied to the DOC for $500,000, said Raid. The funding plan recommended by DOC will result in loans totaling $475,000.

Raid said the company will have three blast freezers in Hammond and will be one of the biggest users of electricity in the village's industrial park.

She said the project will cost $1.3 million, and Ristow plans to add 50 jobs in two to three years.

The company will repay the both the $275,000 loan and the $100,000 loan to the county. Money in the Revolving Loan Fund is a result of other companies repaying their DOC loans to the county.

Raid said the Revolving Loan Fund had a balance of $285,260 on July 31, but the loan committee has since approved a $100,000 loan for another company.

She said the fund collects about $16,000 in loan payments each month. Four companies are making payments to the fund. All are current on their debts.

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