Plans have been put into place to expand two industrial parks located on member cooperatives’ lines.
Corn Belt Power Cooperative and Prairie Energy Cooperative are working with the City of Garner to expand the Touchstone Energy Cooperative Park at Garner. The 19.5-acre expansion will add eight lots to the existing seven lots. Only two of the original lots are still available.
The City of Garner received a $239,497 grant for the project from the Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy program. Corn Belt Power and Prairie Energy each approved up to $135,000 to contribute toward the three-quarter of a million dollar expansion. Additional cash from the Prairie Energy Development, LLC fund will also be used for the project.
Construction work started in August and water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer infrastructure was installed this past fall. Street construction will take place this spring and the park will be ready for new businesses by the summer.
The Humboldt Business Park on the north side of Humboldt – served by Midland Power Cooperative – will also be expanded. Thirty acres of developed property offering eight new lots will be added to the four existing lots in the park. All of the existing lots are now full and only two lots are left in the community’s only other industrial park, the Northwest Industrial Park.
The Humboldt Business Park, which was reclaimed for new development after a former fertilizer plant was cleaned up in 2011, is located in a tax increment financing district. Tax monies collected after the development will make payments on a bond used to fund the $575,000 expansion.
Water and sewer work began last fall. Streets will be constructed in the spring.
An existing speculative building is still available for sale in the park. The 6,000-square-foot building was designed for commercial or professional businesses and has some concrete flooring completed and heating and lighting systems included.
Jim Vermeer, vice president, business development, Corn Belt Power, explains the importance of cooperatives being involved in industrial parks and economic development: “Community preparedness is vital when business and industry decide to locate or expand. Shovel-ready industrial property opens up new opportunities for growth and expansion for rural communities. Developed property assists business to expedite their plans in communities that have made the investment to be prepared for the future.”