Flexsteel staying in Dubuque, agreement still being finalized - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flexsteel staying in Dubuque, agreement still being finalized

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

After months of negotiations between the City of Dubuque, Dubuque County and others partners, the furniture manufacturer Flexsteel is staying in Dubuque. 

This means at least 200 people will not lose their jobs.

Employees were worried about this for nearly a year. "It's been a real roller coaster ride for the members," said Mark Cook with United Steelworkers Union, which represents most of the employees. "Ever since they announced their plans to build a new facility because the workers were never really sure was it gonna be built in Dubuque, were they gonna have a job, do I start looking for a job now? Or stick it out?"

Flexsteel has been based in Dubuque since 1936, so it's not just employees who are relieved a tentative agreement has been been reached.

The company plans to invest $28-million in a new state-of-the art facility. As part of the complex agreement, the total incentive package of just over $10-million dollars was offered to Flexsteel.

Part of this means the county will have to pay the company $2-million over seven years.

Supervisor Daryl Klein says the county can't afford it. "There's no question that keeping these 200 jobs is a great thing, and I'm not opposed in the county being a participant in this type of project, but for us to commit dollars that we don't know are gonna be available or not, who does business like that?" he questioned.

Still, supervisors voted 2-1, allowing Flexsteel to buy the land where the new facility will be built. Klein voted against it.

Multiple parties are involved in the agreement including, the City of Dubuque, Dubuque County, Dubuque Initiatives, Northeast Iowa Community College, Iowa Economic Development Authority and Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.

Everything has not been approved yet.

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