Expansion

The city of Hartley acquired 20 acres of land west of town on the south side of Highway 18 in November. The O’Brien County city has plans to turn the area into another industrial park. 

HARTLEY—The city of Hartley finally has acquired property near Highway 18 for an industrial park.

Marjean Westerman, secretary for Hartley Economic Development Corporation, said for the last 20 years the city wanted an industrial park near the primary road going through town.

“We are hopeful that the park will attract new business to Hartley,” Westerman said. “That highway location is key to any business.”

In November the city purchased 20 acres west of town on the south side of the highway for a cost of $440,000. The city bought the land at $22,000 per acre from Brent and Kimberly Rieck with an option to buy more land in the future if further expansion is necessary.

City clerk/administrator Erica Haack said the city hired engineer Jim Thiesse of Kruse, Cate & Nelson in Spencer to design lots and an entry into the industrial park. The entry point will be located on the eastern end of the area. The plan is to have eight lots available for businesses.

“Once the initial plans are done and we get cost estimates we can start taking bids on development,” she said. “We are hoping within the next year we will get street installation and utility development.”

Costs of the lots will be determined after development.

Hartley Economic Development Corporation president Andy Schierholz said there will not be any groundbreaking this year but some businesses already have expressed interest in locating to the park.

“It is a prime location,” Schierholz said. “The traffic count is really high which gives businesses access to different markets.”

Specific incentives for the new park have not been determined. Schierholz said some of the incentives attached to the already-developed industrial park on the southeast side of town include tax exemptions from property taxes.

Haack said the new industrial park will be in addition to one on the town’s southeast side.

“That park was gradually improved and developed,” Haack said. “This is just the next phase of development.”

Businesses at the existing park are Growmark FS, GCC Ready Mix and American Natural Soy.

With a new elementary school being constructed as an attachment to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School in Hartley and with the addition of the new industrial park, Westerman thinks it will be easier to attract businesses to town.

“Hartley is a good town,” Westerman said. “We have got a great school system. It will be exciting to see the new building go up. I think the future for the town is bright and we want to help with that.”