HOPE, Minn. (FOX 47) -- The small town of Hope, Minn., could see a change that would make quite an impact on farmers across southeastern Minnesota.
Residents of Hope got their first look Tuesday at plans for a new 110 car grain-loading terminal to be built by Crystal Valley Co-op.
The $25 to $30 million project is still in the planning stages, as it has not yet gone before the county planning and zoning committee.
The Snowmobile Association Building in Hope was a packed room as residents sought to get a better understanding of the 6.5 million bushel grain terminal to be built on more than 200 acres south of town.
"All the neighbors are concerned about what's the impact going to be on their daily lives, as well as mine," said Mark Johnson, a local business owner. "I mean, what's it going to do to my property value? What's it going to do to their property value?"
However, Johnson said he's not against the project.
"There is a need for this project," he said. "This proposal needs to be somewhere. It needs to be here."
Among the biggest concerns of those in the community is traffic. The facility would load 50-60 110 car trains a year to ship south -- that means upward of 400 or 500 trucks a day that would move through the facility during harvest, and 40-80 on any given day.
Crystal Valley officials said now is the time, as corn production in Minnesota hit record levels in 2012, and shipping grain by barge has gotten more difficult in recent years because of low water levels due to drought.
"Formerly, a lot of the grain that was produced in this area was exported or went to market by way of the river, said Roger Kienholz, general manager at Crystal Valley. "It was trucked to either Winona, Red Wing or up to Savage and then barged down the Mississippi to St. Louis or all the way to the Gulf for export."
The terminal would employ six to ten full-time employees, but everyone we talked to said the biggest economic impact would be for local farmers.
"It would support the price of grain in this area, most likely raising it slightly," said Bruce Kubicek, Steele County Commissioner.
The plan is set to go ahead of the Planning and Zoning Committee in early February.
Crystal Valley plans to start construction late spring or early summer for completion before the 2014 harvest.
Main Station: 507-252-4747
Connect With Us
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KXLT. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.