SmithCo wins street vacation request bid

Posted December 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

by Steve Peterson

Plymouth County supervisors reversed their decision and granted a Le Mars manufacturer a street vacation it had requested.

The supervisors’ vote was unanimous Dec. 10 after the supervisors had voted 3-2 to reject the request of 212th Street in Le Mars on Dec. 3.

The next step will be to have a quick claim deed be executed between the county and Mid-American Energy, the title holder and its predecessor. Mid-American Energy will be able to maintain a 25 feet easement.

Supervisors Mark Loutsch and Jack Guenthner had a tour of the SmithCo plant Dec. 6 and met with SmithCo representatives Randy Strong and Greg Smith.

“We saw the existing plant and the need is apparent to me. There is not enough room for their existing products or for something in the future,” said Guenthner.

The plant’s building, where side dump loaders are, is being expanded at the southeast corner and southwest corner. One area’s expansion would be for 2,400 square feet and another is 100 square feet, totaling about $500,000 in construction costs. A building permit has been applied for and received from the county.

SmithCo employs 95 people.

“There will be some added jobs but they could not say how many. There will be new equipment costs in the high six-figures or to seven-figures plus a $35,000 fee to the county,” said Guenthner.

“SmithCo will be creating additional taxable valuation. They pay $54,000 a year in taxes and that will probably be going up,” said Guenthner, who also thanked the SmithCo executives for their work in the negotiations.

Property owner Tom Lehrner, who had expressed concerns at the Dec. 3 meeting, said he favors the project but only wished to see a written agreement.

That agreement will have a deadline of July 2015 to begin construction with completion in 2016.

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