Prime plans quick pace

    Decatur City Council said goodby to 2010 Tuesday night with some moves which will get 2011 off to a good start.
    The actions involved New Prime, a division of Prime, Inc, of Springfield, Missouri, which will construct a new building in Industrial Park III as it enters into an agreement with Bunge North America to provide transportation and logistic services, mainly truck trailer washing.
    New Prime will be the first tenant in the 62-acre park along County Road 450N, just west of All American Homes. New Prime will occupy two lots, approximately 13.8 acres.
    Council held two public hearings — one on the agreement for Prime to buy the land, the other on the sale of the real estate — last night and also gave its okay to a confirming resolution for a tax abatement. Although no official objections were aired at the hearings, two Ruan workers who face job losses spoke briefly (see below).
    Things are moving quickly as Bunge wants New Prime in operation by June.
    Prime officials John Hancock and Chad Clay, who attended the previous council meeting when the new operation was first unveiled, were back again last night, having flown into Dayton, Ohio, and driven to Decatur. Both spoke briefly, as did Adams County Economic Development Director Larry Macklin.
    Hancock presented the confirming resolution and said, "It is through your foresight that we have reached this point," referring to the fact that Industrial Park III had been made "shovel ready." He compared the situation to the "Field of Dreams" movie, "If you build it, they will come."
    He confirmed that Prime wants to move quickly and added, "We will be good corporate citizens."
    Asked how soon ground might be broken and construction could get under way, Clay answered, "As soon as we can."
    New Prime's building will cover some 14,000 square feet in the southeast corner of the industrial park and the company is expected to hire approximately 40 workers, providing an annual payroll of some $1.5 million.
    The city has already cut an entrance off the county road to the New Prime area. Thus, New Prime's truck traffic will not have to use the only current entrance, on the southwest side, and become a possible annoyance to any other potential businesses which might eventually locate in the city-owned industrial park.
    Prime is purchasing the land from the city for $8,000 an acre.
    The next legal hurdle to jump through is the city plan commission giving its final approval to the site plan, which is likely to occur on January 18.