CGB construction a boon to other local contractors

In her fourth quarter report, presented to both the City Council and County Commissioners, EDGE Executive Director Beckie Cromer noted the impact construction of the CGB grain terminal complex is having on the area economy.

Consolidated Grain and Barge broke ground on the $23 million facility in December and construction continues in south Falls City, just west of Highway 73. The facility is expected to be completed in the fall of this year. Mrs. Cromer’s full report was provided in EDGE’s first newsletter of 2013.

The project has kept local concrete trucks and workers from Southeast Ready Mix/Concrete Industries and Compass Pumping and Conveying, Inc., very busy.  In addition, Snethen Farms, Donnie Stevens of Triple S Construction, Kaster Trucking and Huettner Trucking have hauled tons of dirt and rock.  Airlanco has also been involved in the project and is currently providing warehouse space during the construction.

Mrs. Cromer said construction workers have moved into the area on a temporary basis, which has resulted in rentals and increased use of hotel and motel rooms, and additional traffic in a variety of businesses.  CGB is working with Staffing Services’ Falls City offices to “recruit workers from the construction trades to assist in the development,” Mrs. Cromer wrote in the newsletter.  When completed, the CGB terminal, which will make use of convenient rail service directly adjacent to the building site, is expected to create “a minimum of eight new jobs,” Mrs. Cromer wrote.

She described the decision by CGB to locate here as a development that “will serve as an economic driver for the area and have a far reaching positive impact on the economy.”  Mrs. Cromer listed several of those impacts, including:

—Jobs with good salaries and benefits, creating employment opportunities and attracting new families to the area.

—Increased property tax base, benefiting the City, County and schools.

—The ripple effect of a major construction project to area businesses.

—A large new customer for Falls City Utilities.

—Increased truck traffic that will result in more business for service stations, convenience stores and restaurants.

—Better utilization of Falls City’s rail asset, which could provide the local railroad workforce a better chance of working in Falls City.

—The potential for better grain prices and reduced costs for farmers.

—The potential for future expansion at the site and ancillary businesses that could be drawn to the area.

The newsletter spotlighted a number of developments and activities on the economic front, including one at Merz Farm Equipment.  With several core employees in their fifties, Mitch Merz said, retirements will impact the business in the future.  The idea is to prepare now by adding young workers at Merz Farm Equipment.

Merz attended an EDGE-hosted Talent and Innovation Initiative workshop and learned about the InternNE program, which translated into $10,000 in funding to hire two interns, Dusty Metzner and Jesse Vollmer.  Both are enrolled at Southeast Community College, Milford.  The program provides financial assistance to companies willing to give paid internships to college juniors and seniors, or those at least halfway through community college programs.  When the two interns complete their programs in September, they will have full-time jobs at Merz Farm Equipment.  A second round of internships at Merz Farm Equipment is underway for 2013.

Contact Mrs. Cromer at 402-245-2105 or for more information about the InternNE program.

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