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Calhoun County ECA closes on first business park

After years of in-depth research and careful planning, Calhoun County has an industrial park.  Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association partnered with Corn Belt Power, Calhoun County Board of Supervisors and Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation to get the project located at the intersection of Highways 20 and 4 off the ground. The planning and organizing group held a groundbreaking on Thursday, June 3.  

  “We have worked for years to make this a reality,” said Jim Vermeer, vice president, business development, Corn Belt Power Cooperative. “In 2008, Rox Carisch, now retired CEO at Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association, invited me to visit with her board about industrial park development and we envisioned developing something at the intersection of 20 and  4.

After much discussion and planning,we recruited Sparky’s to locate at the intersection. Since then, we worked to get the infrastructure to the intersection.”

Getting infrastructure to the location was a team task. 

“We had many meetings with Twin Lakes Utilities and the City of Rockwell City to discuss getting water and sewer to the intersection,” said Vermeer. “About two or three years ago, we heard that Rockwell City was going to provide water to Twin Lakes Utilities. We approached the city and the supervisors to run the water main past the intersection. Without the commitment by the supervisors, this project would not have happened.” 

Phase One amounts to 21.72 acres near Sparky’s One Stop at the intersection of Highways 20 and 4. With help from the partnership, infrastructure buildout is set to begin in the near future. 

 Studies show that the area is primed to attract warehousing and distribution businesses. Those businesses will support travelers and logistic support in the region. Vermeer, who has been developing industrial parks in the Corn Belt Power system for more than two decades, says industrial parks are critical to a county’s and cooperative’s success. 

“Calhoun’s members will see direct benefit of new load growth which helps to spread fixed cost over more energy sales,” Vermeer said. “This is the direct benefit to the member. Other benefits 
of new growth due to industrial park development are: stronger economic base, increased wage base, increased tax base, job creation and creation of wealth. All of this directly benefits the members of Calhoun County ECA and the taxpayers of Calhoun County.”

Vermeer says he’s happy to see the project finally come to fruition. 

“After starting this project nearly 13 years ago, it’s great to see the vision for the intersection come to fruition,” Vermeer said. “We started something that will provide opportunities for Calhoun County and Calhoun County ECA for years to come. It was a privilege to work with a great team to build a strong partnership for the future. Most people don’t realize the amount of work behind the scenes and the amount of time to make a project happen.”

There is an option to purchase 96.08 acres in the future, provided Phase One is successful. In total, the project could be as large as 117 acres.