After eight years of DFL-led bureaucratic governance and repeated ta hikes, the city of Luverne was shocked, shocked, to find that a company decided to ditch a deal and move their expansion to South Dakota:
With groundbreaking expected this summer at the Luverne site, Tru Shrimp executives said they recently discovered a state environmental rule about water discharge that could delay construction of the facility, which it calls a harbor, by one to three years.
“Our timeline is to build a harbor in 2019,” Michael Ziebell, chief executive of Tru Shrimp, said in an interview Tuesday. With investors’ money on the line, the company couldn’t afford to wait for the discharge issue to be resolved, he said.
The board of the Balaton, Minn.-based firm in November gave final approval for the $45 million facility on 67 acres just outside Luverne. The state of Minnesota had invested nearly $2 million to build roads and utilities to the site and Luverne, a city of about 5,000 residents, invested $600,000 in the effort.
“I’m not going to kid you, it was like a gut shot and we were blindsided by it,” Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian said. “I understand it was a business decision and they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do, but we had no previous interaction with Tru Shrimp that suggested the regulatory issue was going to be a real problem.”
Nobody expects the Minnesota regulatory inquisition!