DES MOINES — Vermeer’s plans to rebuild and expand in Pella received an endorsement from the state’s economic development board, which approved nearly $6 million in tax credits.

After two of Vermeer’s plants were hit by an EF-3 tornado in July 2018, the company sought millions to coincide with insurance and other investments to rebuild on its campus. The tornado impacted Vermeer’s campus in Pella, but left the town unscathed with its 144 mile per hour winds.

The plan received unanimous approval by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board, which approved $4.8 million in tax refunds and $990,000 in tax credits for research. The awards were approved Friday and total $5.8 million.

In all 406 jobs will be saved in a project with a budget of $137.3 million. Of those, 240 jobs pay more than $21.61 per hour.

The company reports to the state they expect $93.1 million from insurance toward the project and plan to contribute $44.2 million in business equity.

The night of the tornado, Vermeer CEO Jason Andringa said the company would “come back stronger than ever,” and vowed to rebuild at the Pella plant.

Vermeer employees were all back to work within a month of the tornado.

Vermeer, headquartered in Pella, is the town’s largest employer with 2,754 employees at its Pella location alone.

In September Vermeer announced it would add a new engineering facility to the Pella campus in addition to rebuilding what was damaged in the tornado. The engineering facility will be called Shop 48, a homage to the 1948 founding of the company by Gary Vermeer. It will combine three off-site engineering locations.

State documents indicate the award is pending approval of local match funds and sponsorship by the city of Pella.

Work on remodeling is expected to be completed by August, according to the information they provided to the state. New construction is anticipated to be completed by July 2021.

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