By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

Cargill, Inc. received site plan approval from the Owosso Planning Commission for its proposed bulk dairy feed manufacturing facility at 1509 Oliver Street during the Tuesday, Feb. 2 meeting. The next phase of the planned project will be the creation of construction plans by Rowe Professional Services, with a ground breaking tentatively scheduled for May.

Cargill, would still need to purchase the city-owned land, which would happen after the city secures financing for water and road work needed to accommodate the needs of Cargill.

The site plans call for an access road to connect the southern portion of the property to N. Chipman Street, which was chosen over W. Oliver or W. King streets to provide the trucks with the shortest possible distance to M-21. The city will pay approximately $1.2 million to build the 1,000-foot entrance and to provide water services to the property.

The city plans take out a bond of up to $999,999 to cover most of that cost, with the rest coming from the city’s Water Utilities Fund. The city will capture the increased taxes resulting from the redeveloped Cargill property to pay off the project over 17 years.

The site plans for the 19.1 acre property include a 70,656-square-foot warehouse, a 1,900-square-foot office, a 5,565-square-foot load-out shed, three storage silos, 29 parking spaces, a rail track addition to accommodate up to 10 train cars, and a detention pond. Rowe Project Manager Doug Scott said the facility will hire 10 or 11 employees to start, with up to 40 possible as the business expands, with approximately 18 trucks using the proposed N. Chipman Street entrance each day.

Cargill Sales Manager Jody Whitmore detailed Cargill’s global business history and explained the company’s overall goals. The 150-year-old multi-national company has 70 businesses in 67 countries, though this will be the first in Michigan. Whitmore also noted that Cargill works with buyers to engineer its product to specifically meet specific animal needs.

The city hopes to finish the access road by November and Cargill plans to be operational by February 2017. The business will operate from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., with hopes to expand to three shifts covering 24 hours in the future.

Planning Commission Approves Cargill Site Plan was last modified: February 8th, 2016 by Karen Elford