A local manufacturer announced Tuesday that it will expand to meet the growing demand for its products.
Calcium Products Inc., of Fort Dodge, distributes lime and gypsum to agricultural and horticultural growers.
In a statement released by the company, officials said the reason for the expansion was due to "double digit sales growth over the last five years."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
The former Smithway Motor XPress property along Quail Avenue east of Fort Dodge has been purchased by Calcium Products Inc. for a plant expansion project. Calcium Products’ plant, partially visible behind the mailbox, is just south of the site.
The company's statement added the expansion will allow Calcium Products to increase its production of SuperCal SO4, which is described as "a naturally-mined sulfur fertilizer and superior quality gypsum product" which is used by growers throughout North America.
"SuperCal SO4, one of several soil amendment products we manufacture, has led industry sales as farmers and growers better understand the importance calcium and sulfur has on plant health, vitality and crop production," Craig Dick, Calcium Products' vice president of sales and marketing, said in the statement.
Dennis Plautz, chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, said the expansion has been discussed for a number of years.
"They've been a fast-growth company, and this is a tremendous opportunity from a job-based standpoint, a community-based standpoint, and from the standpoint of adding local natural resources," Plautz said. "They really have the highest fiscal multipliers for the community and our area."
Plautz said the expansion will be happening on a piece of property that is owned by Western Express, and formerly Smithway.
"It's essentially from the north boundary of their building over to where the buildings begin at Smithway," he said. "There's also some vacant property in between, which also gives them room for future expansions."
Plautz said the expansion is a great opportunity for Fort Dodge and Webster County.
"They will be adding some jobs and adding to our tax base," he said. "More importantly, they will be becoming a more viable and larger company within Webster County. It adds value to the natural resources, but also adds value to the companies which they get their resources from. There's great synergy between Calcium Products and the other companies they buy their raw material from in order to add value to it."
The company's official release estimates an increase in the employee base of up to 10 percent.
Dick wrote in the statement about the importance of Calcium Products being a local factory.
"We are proud to be an Iowa-based, employee-owned company," Dick said. "Our customers know they are dealing with a company that exhibits Iowa values and work ethic. That, along with our ability to produce some of the most pure, high-quality products on the market, has enhanced our customers' experience."
In addition to its Fort Dodge location, Calcium Products also has a production facility in Gilmore City, as well as warehouses and distribution centers in Alden and Aplington.
Plautz said there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion on Tuesday at 2 p.m. It will be at 2063 Quail Ave., just north of the Fort Dodge plant.
He said he is appreciative of everyone involved in the process.
"I think Larry Moore, who owns the company, and Deb Zeman (vice president) have really done a great job of helping the company," Plautz said. "The city of Fort Dodge has been involved in this, and I'd like to thank City Council for their participation."
He said other city employees have also helped in the process.
"I'd also like to thank the city for working in modifying some of the site plan requirements that made the project more compatible here," Plautz said. "The city staff worked to make those changes which helped this process."
"As the CEO of the Growth Alliance, we're very excited about it and welcome the expansion."
Contact Peter Kaspari at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org