HURON — Dakota Provisions will expand its ready-to-eat division and add 250 more jobs to its workforce by the end of 2017, the president and chief executive officer of Greater Huron Development Corporation said Monday.
In his semi-annual report to the City Commission, Jim Borszich said the company decided to expand off-site of its facility east of Huron in the 50,000-square-foot West Industrial Park building currently being leased by Michels Pipeline. Dakota Provisions will add at least 20,000 square feet to the building.
Borszich said Dakota Provisions had considered other locations in Mitchell, Aberdeen and out of state.
GHDC is working with developers to meet a need for more housing, which remains a critical issue in Huron. The goal is to establish 140 to 150 new housing units in the next 18 months to accommodate new workers, not only for Dakota Provisions, but for other employers as well.
Borszich said the ripple effect of adding 250 more jobs in Huron will mean the creation of another 125 to 150 jobs in other related sectors such as trucking.
Meanwhile, Borszich said Michels Pipeline, which is building the Dakota Access project, is ahead of schedule. He thanked the community for welcoming the workers to town and for its support. New spending in Huron has meant an 8 percent increase in city sales tax revenue.
Borszich said contracts have been awarded for infrastructure work at the South Town Addition, and the grading of two roads is under way. Water and sewer lines will follow, with road surfacing in the spring.
Also updating the commission was Brooke Sydow, workforce development coordinator for GHDC.
She briefed the board on the various activities of her office, including an effort to connect students with employers in hopes of filling the 300 job vacancies in Beadle County.
In other business, the commission heard a request from Pastor Dean Lindstad from the Huron Church of the Open Bible to have the city install curb and gutter on the south side of the former Jefferson School at 855 Utah Ave. S.E. that the church recently purchased.
Drive-over curb, also known as valley gutter, is there now, but snow plows have damaged the sprinkler system heads.
City Attorney Jeff Banks will draft an agreement between the city and church for the city to pay for the curb and gutter and the church to repay in annual assessments. The cost will be in the neighborhood of $2,500 to $3,500.
Lindstad said the church has removed fencing on the north side of the building to create off-street parking at its expense.
The commission will consider the agreement in the next week or two.
In other remarks, Mayor Paul Aylward asked city residents to spruce up their properties in the days leading to the State Fair.
Commissioner Mark Robish said the city has begun picking up tree branches downed from the recent windstorm and that the work will take the better part of the week. Branches should be piled on the boulevard.