Cass Supervisors discuss the future of the Amaizing Energy site

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met this (Friday) morning, to discuss, among other business, how they wish to proceed with plans for the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, just north of the Atlantic City limits. Late last month, Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners made a presentation to the Board on behalf of Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, with regard to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant.

Schowalter asked the Board to consider local assistance in the form of: a property tax exemption until production begins; 50% property tax exemption/rebate for ten years after production begins; and assistance with applications for State and Federal incentives.

Board Chair Duane McFadden told KJAN News no decision on the request was made during this (Friday) morning’s meeting, but the Board did discuss their concerns and other matters related to the property, and the next time Schowalter might appear before the board. He said the Board wanted to “Air out” between themselves what they want to do, and the consensus seemed to be that they would like to “Maintain going forward if there is someone who would purchase that site, to keep the development going on, and get the infrastructure built there and create jobs, for the best interest of the County.”

McFadden says CADCO Executive Director Russell Joyce will try and coordinate a time for Schowalter to reappear before the Board. Following Schowalter’s next appearance before the Board, a public hearing will take place on or about October 19th. Afterward, it’s expected a motion on a proposal for the site will follow. McFadden says the Board is “pretty much united” in having something go forth at the site, given how fast the ethanol scene changes. And, he says Ron Fagen is probably the best qualified to take over the site. That’s because his company was the one who developed the site. He says Fagen probably has the most knowledge in how to use the infrastructure that’s currently in place, to its fullest potential.

Schowalter had said in August, that even with an agreement in-place, the permitting process would likely take up to a year once investors are secured, and construction on the plant itself would take 18-to 24-months.