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New Superior manufacturer promises 82 jobs

SUPERIOR - A new, Superior-based manufacturer of machinery for the scrap and recycling industry has received a $7.5 million tax credit from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Exodus Machines, Inc. promises to create 21 jobs to start and grow that to 82 full-time employees within five years. Workers are expected to average about $25 per hour with benefits.

In the deal, announced Thursday, the City of Superior will contribute $350,000 in funding for land, infrastructure and development costs.

A 25,000 square-foot building is proposed for the last unoccupied industrial site on Connors Point in Superior.

The so called New Market Tax Credits were created by the federal government. They are allocated by the state in economically distressed areas. The tax credit will be purchased by a bank or other investor that in turn puts the money into Exodus' account, said Kate Venne, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

"The investor gets a tax credit and the company gets cash to make the deal happen,'' Venne said. "There's still a lot of demand for these tax credits even in the current economy.''

Exodus was founded by Bruce Bacon, a rural Duluth resident and a former general manager and co-founder of Genesis Attachments, a similar company based in Superior. An Exodus official did not immediately return a reporter's phone call.

Douglas County also contributed $75,000 from its revolving loan fund to the Exodus project. That was matched by the Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation and the Northland Foundation.

Andy Lisak, Executive Director of The Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Association, praised the combined effort of state, regional and local groups to spur the new startup company to reality.

"Exodus Machines is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when all the players in a community are on the same page when it comes to economic development,'' Lisak said in a statement.

This is the second New Markets Tax Credit allocation in Superior. In 2006, WCDLF allocated $3.6 million to the Superior City Center to renovate the former City Hall into an office building. WHEDA is an independent state authority that works with lenders to provide low-cost financing for housing and small business development in Wisconsin.