DeLong announces $687,500 expansion
CLINTON A business expansion in Clinton means more room for corn, more room for soybeans and significantly less room in the village industrial park.
This week, Clinton officials announced that The DeLong Co. will buy 59.5 acres in the industrial park for $687,500.
The land will be used for streamlining and expanding plant operations, said David DeLong, company president.
"We're basically adding some additional capacity that will alleviate some of the bottlenecks in the fall season," DeLong said.
DeLong's is one of the nation's largest exporters of food grains and is a major player in the domestic market. The company also provides information, products and services to the farming community.
The first phase of the expansion will include storage facilities for soybeans. That will allow the current soybean storage area to be used for drying and storing corn, DeLong explained.
Bo DeLong, manager of the grains division, said the second part of the expansion will include the development of a soybean cleaning and processing facility.
It's uncertain how many new jobs will be created by the new facility.
Building will begin almost immediately, and the company hopes to have the first phase finished in time for the fall harvest season.
The purchase will mean that the village's industrial park is almost full, said Mary Jensen, village board president.
"We're saving a five-acre parcel in case we need to expand our water treatment plant," Jensen said. "There are some privately owned parcels for sale, and the village owns a few smaller spots."
The original industrial park was 91.4 acres.
The village board and the company agreed to expedite the project to meet a May 15 closing date, according to a news release from the village.
The property will need to be rezoned to heavy industrial and the height limits in the area in question will be increased.
"It's the storage bins that are driving that," said Jennifer Sheiffer, interim village administrator. "We have a 90-foot maximum height. We wanted the company to be able to do business without having to worry about coming in to get a variance."
The land the company occupies now is zoned heavy industrial, Sheiffer said.
Jensen said the village board was happy to make the accommodations for the company that has been in the community for more than 100 years.
The land is part of a tax increment financing district established in 1998. A TIF district is a financing tool that allows municipalities to acquire property and make improvements and charge the cost to the district. The municipality then offers sites at discounted rates to encourage development. As the district's property values rise because of the new investment, the increase in taxes is used to refund the village's costs.
As of Jan. 1, 2011, the village's TIF district had resulted in a $14.68 million increase in equalized value, according to a news release from the village.