Updated: 05/06/2014 10:40 PM
Created: 05/06/2014 4:23 PM WDIO.com
Securing the funding to build their project in Superior has been slower than expected for Kestrel Aircraft, but they are working with the state to change the structure of their loans, according to the company's CEO.
Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier said delays in financing are affecting the project.
"We're obviously still very excited about the program. We've made a lot of progress on the design, what we expect to build, what we expect to do with the FAA, but there are other frustrations. Certainly financing the project has been slower than we had hoped and expected," said Klapmeier.
He said, in terms of the design, they're still in the engineering phase.
Kestrel did secure public funding by taking out two $2 million loans with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a state agency.
WEDC CEO Reed Hall said Kestrel's payments are $6,600 monthly, but Hall said after a visit to Superior in January, he was convinced Kestrel needs more time to make their payments.
"There's no reason for us to force the company to pay something they've told us they cannot pay. We want to preserve the company, we want to make sure the company is successful in the long term," said Hall.
Hall said WEDC and Kestrel have agreed upon new terms, but haven't signed on the dotted line yet. When they do, Hall said payments will be deferred until November 2014.
Klapmeier said they've been working on this agreement with the WEDC for months, but they are finally close to signing the agreement.
The delay in financing has also impacted hiring. Last January, the company had 65 employees in Superior. Klapmeier said they are not hiring right now and have had to reduce, but he declined to say how much.
Northlanders Work To Improve MN Child Protective Services
After a Minnesota boy died despite 15 reports of child abuse, Governor Mark Dayton organized a task force to improve the system and protect our kids. The group visited Duluth Wednesday for input from people in northeastern Minnesota.
Minnesota 'On the Edge' of Controlling Zebra Mussel Spread
The Department of Natural Resources has been working to stop the spread of zebra mussels in Northland lakes for years, and one local expert says they're on the edge of success.
Request Denied to Remove Judge on Peterson Case
A prosecution request to remove the judge handling the felony child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has been denied.
Bilingual Signs on FDL Reservation Preserve Anishinaabe Culture
Two new bilingual signs have been put up in St. Louis County, to show the English and Ojibwe names of lakes.
Wade Stadium Gets New and Improved AstroTurf
New AstroTurf has been installed at Wade Stadium, and crews will be finishing up the final touches in the coming days. The turf means there won't be the need to water and fertilize the field next year.