To the Editor:
Many of the Met Council’s biggest successes are accomplishments that happen through the planning and partnerships that lay the groundwork for progress and prosperity. A great example of these successes can be found in Fridley and the Northern Stacks industrial park.
At the start of World War II, a major naval munitions plant sprang up in a corn field next to the Mississippi River to support the nation’s war effort. That defense contractor, BAE Systems, has continued to operate there; in the adjacent area, other industries have come and gone.
Recently, BAE determined that the Fridley site was no longer meeting the company’s needs. But after 70 years of industrial use, the site was too contaminated for BAE to expand. It appeared BAE’s most cost effective option would have been to leave the site in Fridley, and find a new, undeveloped cornfield to build a new plant on.
“It was important this facility remain in Minnesota,” said BAE Vice President as he explained how valuable his 550-person workforce is to his company. “Once you get used to those things, you don’t want to leave.”
The Met Council was one of many partners that helped BAE stay in Fridley. Working with DEED, the MPCA, the U.S. EPA and the City of Fridley, we were able to put together a plan to convert a superfund site into a location for 21st Century jobs.