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WYOMING, MN-Polaris Industries Inc. on Friday said it has opened its new 126,000-sf product development center located on a 611-acre site near Interstate 35 in this community about 30 miles north of St. Paul. The $35.5-million research, development and testing facility includes prototype fabrication and assembly, laboratories for structural testing, electrical development, materials engineering and Powertrain assembly and dynamometer testing.

Polaris received State of Minnesota job zone (JOBZ) benefits, which run through 2015 and include no property taxes on improvements to the land, no sales taxes, no taxes on capital equipment purchases and no corporate income taxes. Also, Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development provided an infrastructure grant of $1 million to help the city pay for the sewer connection, and the city waived almost $600,000 in various development fees along with closing County Road 84. The state and local subsidies in the deal were controversial among voters in the area, who ended up booting from office some of the local politicians who supported the deal.

Polaris says its expansion will create a significant positive economic impact on Chisago County and the City of Wyoming, including the employment of 143 engineers and 54 managers, administration and other staff at the facility by the end of 2005. That number is expected to grow to nearly 300 employees during the next 10 years, the company says. Projected future employment growth will result in a total facility payroll estimated to reach $10 million in 2005, expanding to nearly $18 million by 2015.

Medina-based Polaris, maker of snowmobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft, moved work from Spirit Lake, IA and Osceola, WI, where Polaris has manufacturing plants.

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