298.2213 NORTHEAST MINNESOTA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND.
Subdivision 1. Appropriation.
$4,000,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation. $300,000 of this appropriation must be
used in the same manner as money appropriated under section
Subd. 2. Purpose of expenditures.
The money appropriated in this section may be used for
projects and programs for which technological and economic feasibility have been demonstrated
and that have the following purposes:
(1) creating and maintaining productive, permanent, skilled employment, including
employment in technologically innovative businesses; and
(2) encouraging diversification of the economy and promoting the development of minerals,
alternative energy sources utilizing indigenous fuels, forestry, small business, and tourism.
Subd. 3. Use of money.
The money appropriated under this section may be used to provide
loans, loan guarantees, interest buy-downs, and other forms of participation with private sources
of financing, provided that a loan to a private enterprise must be for a principal amount not to
exceed one-half of the cost of the project for which financing is sought, and the rate of interest on
a loan must be no less than the lesser of eight percent or the rate of interest that is three percentage
points less than a full faith and credit obligation of the United States government of comparable
maturity, at the time that the loan is approved.
Money appropriated in this section must be expended only in or for the benefit of the taconite
assistance area defined in section
, and as otherwise provided in this section.
Subd. 4. Project approval.
The board and commissioner shall by August 1 each year
prepare a list of projects to be funded from the money appropriated in this section with necessary
supporting information including descriptions of the projects, plans, and cost estimates. A project
must not be approved by the board unless it finds that:
(1) the project will materially assist, directly or indirectly, the creation of additional
long-term employment opportunities;
(2) the prospective benefits of the expenditure exceed the anticipated costs; and
(3) in the case of assistance to private enterprise, the project will serve a sound business
Each project must be approved by a majority of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation
Board members and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation. The list of
projects must be submitted to the governor, who shall, by November 15 of each year, approve,
disapprove, or return for further consideration, each project. The money for a project may be
spent only upon approval of the project by the governor. The board may submit supplemental
projects for approval at any time.
Subd. 5. Advisory committees.
Before submission to the board of a proposal for a project
for expenditure of money appropriated under this section, the commissioner of Iron Range
resources and rehabilitation shall appoint a technical advisory committee consisting of at least
seven persons who are knowledgeable in areas related to the objectives of the proposal. If the
project involves investment in a scientific research proposal, at least four of the committee
members must be knowledgeable in the specific scientific research area relating to the project.
Members of the committees must be compensated as provided in section
15.059, subdivision 3
The board shall not act on a proposal until it has received the evaluation and recommendations of
the technical advisory committee.
Subd. 6. Use of repayments and earnings.
Principal and interest received in repayment
of loans made under this section must be deposited in the state treasury and are appropriated
to the board for the purposes of this section.
History: 1987 c 386 art 8 s 1; 1988 c 719 art 19 s 17; 1993 c 369 s 109; 1998 c 389 art 10 s
7; 1999 c 223 art 2 s 44; 1Sp2001 c 5 art 6 s 17; 1Sp2003 c 21 art 11 s 20; 2006 c 281 art 4 s 17