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Agri-Business Park making progress

EAGLE GROVE — Wright County’s Agri-Business Park is making progress with steady construction in Eagle Grove, where officials expect the project to be potentially ready in the spring and slated for substantial completion by June 1, 2020.

The project initially slated for completion in mid-November by winning contractor Reilly Construction Co., of Ossian, had been delayed due mostly to bad weather.

“They’re going to keep going as long as the weather somewhat holds out,” said Wright County Supervisor Rick Rasmussen.

With grading done for the necessary roads, cement is ready to be poured for parts of the project.

The water system, which was awarded in two sections to contractors in November for a total cost of $729,330, will install two wells, water lines, a permanent generator and treatment buildings, according to Cindy Litwiller, director of Wright County Economic Development. A retention pond and sewer lines should be complete soon. Bids came in higher than the initial county engineer’s estimates.

Rasmussen said that two wells and the water supply system will serve the 80-acre campus with adequate water pressure.

A meeting with supervisors on Dec. 23 will discuss next steps for the campus, which the county has undertaken for $1.777 million.

That bid came in about $165,000 higher than the engineer’s estimate of $1,611,354.

The first 40 acres of the new campus will be used for infrastructure, and the other half used for retention ponds and stockpiles needed to build roads, Rasmussen said.

“We’ve got some (businesses) looking at it,” he said. “We’ve gotten a fair amount of interest.”

He said supervisors are hoping the businesses will bring more jobs to Wright County.

“That’s our biggest thing, just to get the infrastructure out and get the county growing some more,” he said.

The county’s economic development authority is hoping to locate more businesses to the area, an initiative prompted by Prestage Foods’ processing plant, which is near the Agr-Business Park.

“We’re hoping it provides the opportunity for industries or businesses to locate to that area if they choose,” said Litwiller. “We’re excited and hopeful. With Prestige locating there, it made sense to provide some spot for additional business and industry.”

With 80 acres near the intersection of Iowa Highway 17 and 320th Street, she said the park could be divided up into plots as small as five acres, or substantially larger depending on business needs as the dust settles. The county purchased the land in January.

“We’re excited and hopeful,” she said, pleased with progress so far given the weather.

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