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Another ag business to set up shop in Cornerstone property PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

Owner of another new ag-related business is preparing to set up shop in the city’s Cornerstone property.
On Monday, city council members approved a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) recommendation to sell two lots to Bart Stromberger of Imperial at a discounted rate from the advertised prices.
Stromberger plans to open an agricultural equipment reconditioning and retail sales business. He said it’s a “spinoff” of a similar business he has operated in McCook the past three to four years.
He is purchasing Lots 1 and 2 in Block 6 of the Cornerstone property. Those lots are located south of East 2nd St., across the street from the row of rental houses.
Originally priced at $195,400, the unanimous vote by the council Monday also okayed a forgivable loan due to job creation/retention of $45,400 (over a five-year period), dropping the net cost of the land Stromberger will pay to $150,000.
Stromberger has yet to establish a name for the business, but expects to provide three full-time jobs within the first 18 months and eventually  as many as six seasonal workers. He also indicated there could be some contract labor hired at times.
His plans are to put up a new building on one of the lots. Initially, he said the building would serve the business reconditioning and sales needs, as well as office space.
When asked by council member Dan Thompson whether the three full-time employees he plans to hire will be local people, he said that depends on two things—availability of that type of labor and housing. He felt most likely, the full-time employees would be “from the outside” due to availability.
He noted between his different business entities, 30 to 35 people are employed and housing is something they deal with every day.  
Public Works Supt. Pat Davison said there are no utility easement issues on the lots he is purchasing.

Other council business
An annual lease agreement with Chase 3000 that allows its equipment to be placed on the city’s water tower drew a motion for a fee increase at Monday’s meeting, but it failed on a 1-3 vote. Council member Dave Fulton proposed the annual lease be increased to $1,200 starting Nov. 1 of this  year, with an annual $50 increase in subsequent years. The motion also added language that assesses a $50 penalty fee if payment is not received by Nov. 30 each year. The lease renews each year on Nov. 1, and hasn’t been raised from the original $900 since 2007 when the agreement was first signed. Fulton voted yes, while Charlesa Kline, Dan Thompson and Chad Yaw voted no. Those voting against the motion felt they had left the ball in owner Aaron Greene’s court following a meeting last month for him to come back with a lease fee proposal. The city had alerted Greene that they were interested in renegotiating the agreement details.
A 4-0 vote passed a resolution declaring a 1997 Zimmatic pivot with five towers, a 40-horsepower submersible pump and eight joints of six-inch pipe as surplus property. According to the resolution, the items will be sold on the bigiron.com website. All of the items will be sold as one unit, according to the discussion, with no minimum bid. The irrigation equipment had been used on the Cornerstone property, but due to development there, is no longer needed. The well is located on residential lot #22 which is still owned by the city.
An extended warranty on the city’s new trash truck will be researched further to determine if labor is included, what the deductibles are and other information. Cost of the additional five-year warranty is $3,300. Supt. Pat Davison was asking for direction on whether the extended warranty should be purchased.