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Delavan asks WFS for $10K

By Staff | Feb 28, 2011

Todd Ludwig

Any doubts of whether WFS (Working for Farmers’ Success) of Truman is serious about building a grain handling facility in Delavan should be laid to rest.

Todd Ludwig, CEO of the farmer-owned cooperative, says a $2,500 check has been mailed to help cover some of the costs incurred by the city due to the proposed project.

“We’re doing whatever we need to do to get the project moving forward,” Ludwig says.

That may require sending them more money.

Ludwig says city officials have requested an additional $10,000.

He says WFS officials are considering and studying the request.

“We’re looking into it. If we don’t send all of it, we’ll send a good portion,” Ludwig adds.

Mayor Kevin Walker says more money is needed because there are a lot of expenses associated with a project of this size.

“There are attorney, engineering, clerical and legal publication costs that have to be paid,” he says.

Earlier this month, the Delavan City Council held a special meeting to discuss zoning changes needed because of the proposed $15 million-plus project.

Council members at the time questioned how much time should be spent on the project because they hadn’t heard from WFS officials.

On Feb. 14, the council set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on March 3 for three resolutions pertaining to zoning changes.

Walker says WFS has been mailed a resolution of support.

“We’re trying to make this (project) happen as soon as possible. But, there are a lot of legal things that need to occur,” he says.

The grain elevator would be located on the southeast side of town on land purchased by the cooperative.

WFS also has two other sites between Delavan and Winnebago where the facility could be built.

“But, we’re focusing real hard on building it in Delavan,” Ludwig says.

As for submitting a building permit application, Ludwig says that won’t happen until the zoning changes have been finalized.

The new elevator is expected to serve farmers in a radius of up to 25 miles and would have a storage capacity of 5 1/2 million bushels.

WFS operates 20 elevators that serve more than 4,000 producers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. It’s not known for sure if any existing facilities will be closed.