The North Bend Eagle

  Co-op plansThis rendering shows the plans for the new agronomy facility to be built by Frontier Coop. Company reps hope to have the plant up and running by this fall.

Merged co-op to build

by Nathan Arneal
Published 3/12/14

Frontier Cooperative Company, the entity formed by the merger of Husker and Frontier co-ops, is planning a major facility upgrade to its North Bend location.

With local representatives Frank Pollard and Kyle Rasmussen looking on, John Brabec of Frontier Coop went over the plans with the North Bend City Council at its March 4 meeting.

The new building will measure 100 feet by 225 feet and will sit on the west side of Cottonwood Street on the way to the North Bend Golf Course and the Pioneer Lake development south of the railroad tracks.

The agronomy facility would help consolidate services of the former Husker and Frontier co-ops. The ditch running along the west side of the road to the golf course would be filled in and replaced with a culvert.

Trucks loading up with fertilizer, chemical or seed would drive through three bays on the north end of the building. All loading will take place in the building on concrete floors. The company’s offices will be located in the south end of the building.

Councilman Tim Blackmon asked if the new facility would create more traffic at the intersection of Cottonwood St. and Highway 30, a spot he said is already pretty congested, especially when a train is passing through.

Brabec said he thought truck traffic on Highway 30 might be relieved a bit because trucks coming from the south will access the facility using Fifth Street, which runs south of the tracks.

“I think that’s a process we need to coordinate with our farmers,” Pollard said, “to use the Fifth Street road rather than turn off the highway (30) there, because I agree that can be congested. I think most of the people we work with will realize that, and it’s just a matter of us getting the information to them.”

Brabec said lines of grain trucks waiting to dump won’t be any different that it is now, with the line forming on Frontier property and not extending out to a public road.

The facility, Brabec said, goes above and beyond current safety standards and anticipates future changes in regulations.

“This one has a lot of extra dollars put into precautions that between OSHA and EPA are coming anyway,” Brabec said. “It’s way different from where we were 10 years ago, but that’s OK. There were some things that needed to change.”

Construction is scheduled to begin after the final frost of the winter with a goal of being up and running by September.

The City Council unanimously approved Frontier’s building permit.

In other council business:
• A liquor application was approved for Last Second Saloon.
• The Council decided to pay $3,308 worth of back taxes due on 1240 Main St., a dilapidated house that sits southwest of the library. This action gives the city ownership of the property, which it plans to clean it up.
“Even if we lose a little money on it,” councilman Kevin Ferguson said, “it’s better for us to clean it up and make it look good than sell it and have a new owner let it sit as is.”
The motion to pay the taxes on the property was approved.

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