RDA Happenings February 2013
Posted on February 1, 2013 – By Emporia RDA
The bell weather indicators are beginning to show the economy is recovering slowly. Recently, I visited with representatives from a site selection firm based in southeast United States. Both firms indicated that the workload was increasing with site selection projects. The predictions were that their firm would be so busy, they would be turning down work before the end of the year.
Locally, two of our three pet nutrition plants are adding to their workforce. The Simmons/ Menu Midwest plant is working 24 hours a day, seven days per week. They will be adding up to 30 workers in the next several months.
I heard on KVOE radio an ad for production workers for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. The warehouse operation adjacent to the Hill’s production facility is managed by a third party logistics (3DL) company who operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week with some of their product lines.
The Lenze building has been leased by Amerigreen Worldwide, a corrugated and board pallet fabricator. This manufacturer creates a pallet which is lighter, has a smaller carbon footprint, has no pest control issues and is recyclable. This pallet company sells their products to the pet nutrition and food processing industry.
During February, the City Commission reviewed the Renewable Energy Group or REG Emporia bio-diesel plant incentive compliance agreement. As a reminder, REG began construction of their bio-diesel plant in the summer of 2007. In the first quarter of 2008 the construction has been put on hold and has remained so ever since. The City of Emporia’s incentive compliance agreement with REG expires on July 1, 2013, unless renewed.
You may ask why the agreement should be extended. REG is current on all their financial obligations to the City of Emporia. Since they have not created the jobs as promised, REG has paid their property taxes every year which is currently $34,200 per year.
The City of Emporia invested $972,000 in upgrading a high-pressure natural gas pipeline from west Emporia on South Avenue east to the REG plant. Hill’s Pet Nutrition utilizes this natural gas pipeline, so it benefitted both facilities.
REG entered into an agreement with Kansas Gas, and then Kansas Gas entered into an agreement with the City of Emporia. In essence, the agreement requires REG to pay a transportation fee to Kansas Gas. Once Kansas Gas receives the payment, Kansas Gas will reimburse the City of Emporia approximately $104,000 over the next several years, assuming REG pays Kansas Gas.
The City of Emporia receives from REG in January an annual payment of $40,200 over the next ten years. The City of Emporia entered an agreement with the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) that once REG is complete, and the 30 jobs were created, then the city would receive $30,000 a year for the next ten years or a total of $300,000. This calendar year, REG will have paid back to the city nearly $683,000. REG has made all their obligations to Emporia. Therefore, I hope the incentive compliance agreement would be extended. REG has fulfilled their fi-nancial commitments in the past and the future financial commitments will yield the City of Emporia another $600,000 over five years.
Green Dot announced on February 11, 2013 the acquisition of the bio-plastics division of MGP Ingredients, Inc. This acquisition includes a manufacturing facility in Onaga, Kansas, and certain assets of the research and development facility in Atchison. For more information on the media release, go to www.greendotpure.com. Congratulations to the Green Dot team in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.
Since early December, the Trusler Business Center has undergone remodeling. It has been a little dusty and we all had to move out of our offices at least once, but the renovation is nearly complete on the building. The technology portion will be completed in the next 6 to 8 weeks.
The closet in my office had quite a few file boxes of old project proposals. It was fun to review the CESSNA Project file box. Some other projects included Seaforth Creamery (the private salad dressing company), Snug Top, (a pick-up topper company), Cannon Valley Cabinet Company, and Project Monarch, a solar panel company. There were many others.
The RDA will be hosting an update of the RDA activities on March 7, 2013, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Granada Theater. You are all welcome to attend.