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Busload of workers visit New York Mills; may relocate to work at Lund

Bad news for Little Falls is good news for New York Mills, and community morale has risen with the prospect of Lund Boats adding jobs in East Otter Tail.

"This has been a boost for a lot of has really helped community morale," said NY Mills Mayor Larry Hodgson at the city's Feb. 9 council meeting.

A busload of employees from the Little Falls Crestliner plant came to NY Mills on Friday, Feb. 12, to tour the facilities and the community.

The visitors were given local literature about the area, housing information, and copies of the East Otter Tail Focus newspaper-to make them feel welcome.

The manufacturing facility in Little Falls will phase down production and close by the end of year 2010. Crestliner and Triton boats currently built in Little Falls will now be built in New York Mills on new welding production lines.

The announcement was made in early February.

The Little Falls facility will begin to ramp down production in May, and is expected to complete that process in the fall. During that time, as many as 50 percent of Little Falls' current jobs could be transferred to the New York Mills or Lebanon, Missouri, facilities. The company said that it will work with these cities' leaders and government organizations to help with the transition of affected employees.

Approximately 180 production positions will be affected at the Little Falls plant, according to Dan Kubera, director of media relations at Brunswick, which is the parent company of Lund, Crestliner and Triton. Kubera anticipates about 90 of those positions will be transferred to NY Mills or the plant in Lebanon.

Brunswick plans to invest capital in the remaining plants in the form of equipment, paint booths, and employee training to maintain and improve upon the current quality.