A sweet expansion

Friday, May 20, 2022

Wells announces $70 million project to be complete in 2024

LE MARS — Wells Enterprises, Inc. has been awarded a tax credit of $6.3 million towards a $70 million investment expansion project. The Iowa Economic Development Authority made the announcement of the investment tax credit on May 20 as part of the High Quality Jobs program.

Wells is proposing to add new product lines, as well as upgrade and modernize existing equipment throughout their existing facility. The $70 million investment includes production lines, hardening equipment, freezer and refrigeration upgrades and other equipment.

Both Le Mars production facilities will add or replace manufacturing lines and supporting equipment over the next two years with completion of the project expected by December 2024.

“Our Le Mars facilities and the strong teams we have in place are key to Wells’ overall business strategy and will continue to be well into the future,” said Mike Wells, CEO & chief engagement officer in a statement. “We’re excited to bring more investment to Le Mars and move forward with this project to bring on new lines and equipment.”

In the application, it stated a total of 135 jobs will be created through the project. To qualify for the award, jobs must meet certain wage thresholds as well as employee benefits requirements.

According to the project report, Wells employed 2,488 people at this location as of April 1, 2022.

Wells has received two other awards since 2015. A tax credit of $644,400 was approved on Aug. 21, 2015, for a capital investment of $19.3 million which created 19 jobs. A tax credit award of $3,024,221 was approved on Oct. 21, 2016, for a capital investment project of $40,446,395 which created 81 jobs.

The $6.3 million award will be amortized equally over five years. The breakdown is $1,260,000 per year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

The High Quality Jobs program provides qualifying businesses assistance to offset some of the costs incurred to locate, expand or modernize an Iowa facility. This program includes loans, forgivable loans, tax credits, exemptions and/or refunds.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority offers this program to promote growth in businesses, which employ Iowans in jobs defined as high-quality by state statute.

Founded in Le Mars in 1913, Wells Enterprises, Inc. manufactures brands such as Blue Bunny, Bomb Pop and Halo Top Frozen Treats. These products can be found in grocery, convenience and club stores throughout the United States.

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