Polaris Industries plans to transfer three product lines from a northwest Iowa plant that is closing to the facility in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County, a Polaris spokesman said Wednesday.
“Our goal is to transfer them by the end of the calendar year,” company spokesman Evan Miller said. The product lines to be transferred to the Huntsville plant are Brutus, Bobcat and Gravely, all four-wheel-drive side-by-side utility vehicles used for a variety of jobs, from plowing snow to clearing brush, Miller said.
“The plant (in Milford, Iowa) is currently open and operating, with the goal of going offline by year-end,” Miller said.
About 330 people have been working at the Iowa facility on those three lines and some others, Miller said. “About 300 people will be offered the opportunity to relocate to the Huntsville location or other facilities in Minnesota,” he said.
The 910,000-square-foot Polaris plant started production on Greenbrier Road last year. The facility now has about 400 employees, Miller said, and the number of employees will increase as a result of the Iowa plant shutdown.
“At capacity, we plan to employ at least 1,700 people,” he said, and that number would include the employees who transfer.
“This is certainly another step in the direction of bringing the Polaris plant to full capacity,” said state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur. “We’re appreciative of (the Polaris) commitment to bring more jobs to north Alabama.”
“This is great for our area,” Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said. “We definitely have the workforce ready to go to work for them.”
Morgan County committed $300,000 to a Polaris incentive package, and Long said the county already has received a “good return on our investment. Fifteen percent of the people employed there are Morgan County residents.”
“This will mean more jobs and opportunities for the people of Limestone County and surrounding areas,” Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough said. “I think this is a testament to our workforce and the industry-friendly environment we have created in Limestone County and surrounding areas.”
Polaris continues to invest in the Huntsville facility, Miller said, because of the Huntsville area’s technology and innovation and strong utility infrastructure, and the support the company has received as it opened the facility and continues to grow.
“We produce the Ranger and Slingshot lineups in Huntsville already,” Miller said. The company doesn’t share specific production figures for its product lines and facilities, he said.