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Board gives nod to new ag facility

By Staff | May 12, 2013

Faribault County may be seeing a new agriculture supply and grain facility move into the area contingent upon an abatement request.

Stateline Cooperative approached the Faribault County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to discuss their request for an abatement on their property tax.

The abatement would help them construct and build up the business of a full-service grain storage and supply facility near Blue Earth.

Larry Sterk, the chief executive officer of Stateline Cooperative, was present at the meeting to discuss their plans for the site.

“Since the local elevator closed, there has been a lot of upset people in the Blue Earth area wondering how far they will have to haul their grain,” Sterk says.

He explains Stateline saw the need in the area, so, they made plans for a 1.7 million bushel grain facility. The only hold up was the near $7 million construction cost.

They approached the Faribault County Economic Development Authority about approval of a 10-year, 100 percent abatement.

Stateline hopes that within the next ten years they will have developed a full-service grain, feed and agronomy facility.

Sterk informed the commissioners that the Faribault County location would have two or three employees and would mostly be run electronically.

After hearing Stateline’s plans, the commissioners informed Sterk that approving an abatement would require a public hearing with a 10-day notice.

They set the public hearing for Tuesday, May 28 at 9 a.m.

Sterk thanked the board for their time and added that they are excited to see how this turns out.

“We’re not here to make money,”?he adds. “We are a cooperative so we are farmers helping other farmers.”

Stateline is a farmer-owned, full-service agricultural supply and grain marketing cooperative that services producers in northern and central Iowa and south central Minnesota. They have 14 locations and employ 130 full-time staff.

County Engineer John McDonald also attended the meeting with updates on various road projects.

The County State Aid Highway 62 project in Wells is almost ready to begin. The 8-block reconstruction being done by GM Contracting out of Lake Crystal will begin in the next week or so.

The State Highway 169 project bids are being reviewed but have not been awarded yet the low bid so far has been from Ulland Brothers.

“We are still awaiting word on the county’s exact share,”?McDonald says.

In other business;

The Minnesota Department of Transportation requested an advance of funding for the proposed construction in 2013.

The request shows that the construction this year will exceed the county’s balance, but the county can borrow ahead from next year at no charge.

“MnDOT keeps track of that funding and if it gets too low they won’t lend out anymore,”?McDonald explains.

The board voted to pass the resolution and the amount of $637,977 will be advanced to the regular construction fund.

The county took quotes on both a flail mower and a disc mower and the low bid went to Yaeger Implement.

The flail mower will cost $2,778.75 and the disc mower $4,114.69.