City purchases land for Vantage Business Park

HURON — Purchase of a 127-acre site on the east side of Huron — to be called Vantage Business Park — will provide continued opportunities for the city to grow and prosper over the next quarter century, the president and chief executive officer of Greater Huron Development Corporation said Monday.
David McGirr told the City Commission that GHDC acquired the land from the Nielsen family, and will now begin the process of making it ready for industrial and commercial uses. One of the first steps is annexation.
The property is bordered on the north by Highway 14 and on the west by Custer Avenue. The NorthWestern Energy electrical peak plant is at the northwest corner of the land and Dakota Provisions is in the next quarter of land to the east.
The site has highway and rail access and has the infrastructure in place that will save millions of dollars, McGirr said.
The north one-third of the site is zoned for office and light industrial uses, and the southern two-thirds is zoned for heavy industrial purposes.
GHDC is calling it a business park rather than an industrial park due to the dual zoning.
The development corporation has had inquiries the past six weeks from three major new industries looking to build somewhere in South Dakota. Without the new business park, Huron would have been passed over, McGirr said.
Each of the businesses would offer starting wages of $20 to $30 per hour. The majority of the staff would have to have significant technical education and skills, he said.
In a related matter, commissioners approved a GHDC request for $75,000 per year over the next 10 years to the Community Development Foundation to help pay for the land acquisition. GHDC and grant funds will also be used to purchase the property.
The development corporation began looking for more industrial land because only three parcels, of five and six acres, remain available in the West Industrial Park.
Thirteen different potential parcels were identified over the past year. Each was ranked based on topography, highway and rail access, water and sewer infrastructure, access to fiber optic telecommunications and industrial natural gas access.
The area now to be called the Vantage Business Park had the highest ranking.
Also in his update to the commission, McGirr said the 30,000-square-foot spec building under construction in the West Industrial Park has about 75 percent of the concrete footings, foundation and concrete floor work completed. A crew will begin erecting the steel building soon. Completion is expected early next year.
Meanwhile, McGirr said GHDC has processed the first draw-down to the city of Huron from a grant it secured from the state to improve access to the West Industrial Park and the Southtown commercial and residential areas.
He presented a $132,256 check to the commission, which represents the first payment of a total of $600,000 that will be made available as the roads are completed over the next year.
In other business, commissioners approved an agreement with GeoTech Engineering and Testing Services of Sioux Falls to perform soil borings for an upcoming improvement project on Third Street Southwest.
City Engineer Brett Runge said bids will be let this winter for a project to transform the existing gravel road between Pennington and West Park avenues into a paved street.
The street will serve the West Industrial Park and will be subject to heavy truck traffic so a pavement design based on existing soil conditions will ensure a durable and long-lasting street, Runge said.
Meanwhile, commissioners made announcements pertaining to the November schedule of the city solid waste department.
It will be closed this Saturday and next Monday in observance of Veterans Day. All city offices will be closed Monday and commissioners will not meet that evening.
The Monday garbage, yard waste and recycling containers will be collected on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Containers should be out the night before.
The last day for collection of yard waste containers for the season will be Friday, Nov. 16. Residents may continue to take yard waste to the drop-off site until it closes in December.
For Thanksgiving, the Thursday garbage and recycling containers will be picked up on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
The rubble site will be closed to the public on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 due to maintenance in the baler building. Friday’s garbage and recycling routes will continue to be done on Friday as normal.
For more information, call the department at 353-8542.
Commissioners also:
• Set Nov. 19 as the public hearing date to consider liquor and wine licenses for 2019.
• Approved a request for alcoholic beverage consumption in a public area filed by the parks and recreation department for its bean bag league in November and December at the Campus Center.
• Approved a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license filed by Top Floor Events for a chamber mixer Nov. 13 at Independent Health Solutions.
• Approved the regular full-time status of Michael Juelfs in the parks and recreation department after his probationary period.
• Approved a $21,024 change order, plus two days, for Kyburz Carlson Construction of Aberdeen for the new public works building.
• Approved a $333,869 progress payment to Premier Contracting LLC of Huron for sludge drying bed improvements, and a $593,195 progress payment to Asphalt Paving & Materials Co. of Huron for street milling and paving.
The sludge drying beds are being raised four to five feet so they are above the surrounding wetlands. The berms must also be raised.
• Approved the transfer of a 2018 retail on-sale liquor license and a 2018 package off-sale liquor license from Thunderbird Liquor Inc., 1949 Dakota Ave. S., to Revs Blue Juice at the same location.
• Approved a proposal from Foerster Testing of Brookings to perform construction testing and inspection services for the sludge drying bed improvements project.
• Had a discussion on ambiguous language in an existing ordinance pertaining to waterfowl hunting near the lagoons.

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