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Thu, Sep 29, 2011

Cirrus Is Again Behind On Its Rent In Grand Forks

Growth Fund Committee Debating What Action To Take

The good news is, Cirrus paid the back rent on its plant in the Grand Forks Industrial Park following its sale to CAIGA last summer. The bad news is, the company has again fallen behind in its lease payments.

The Grand Forks, ND, Growth Fund Committee met recently to discuss options for Cirrus, which according to the Grand Forks Herald is some $221,000 in lease and loan payments. City Urban Development Director Greg Hoover said there had been a decision on how to instruct the city staff to move forward, but would not reveal specifics of those instructions.

Cirrus' Vice President for Business Administration Bill King had asked the city to restructure its lease about the time Brent Wouters left the company under quite a cloud while Dale Klapmeier became the CEO. Hoover said the city was operating under the premise that the sale to the Chinese company meant that the lease re-structuring was no longer necessary, and at the present time, the city has no interest in doing so. "Our expectation is to get this resolved as soon as possible," Hoover told the paper. "Nobody has any interest in dragging this out."

At the time of the sale in June, Cirrus and CAIGA had paid Grand Forks $3.2 million it owed on its lease and outstanding loans. The company is down to about 80 workers, and has sublet a now-unused portion of its facility to Amazon.com in an attempt to lower its lease payments. The space became available as production slumped and workers were let go.

The city is concerned that the new ownership and management have not resolved the problem. Hoover told the paper "It's fair to say that our expectation was with the merger that they would have been able to make their lease payments."

FMI: www.grandforksgov.com

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