Article by: Cathy Enerson
City Council and EDA board members and Preston’s city staff met at the new NW Industrial Park to recognize the City of Preston’s second, 2014 business public infrastructure grant project and the ground breaking for Bluff Country Manufacturing. Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)’s business development infrastructure grant program (BDPI), was used in conjunction with tax increment financing, and annexation to expand, and or develop three businesses in Preston. The City received a $350,000 grant for the Industrial park, and another $137,000 BDPI grant to assist with Preston Dairy and Farm’s 4.5 million dollar expansion. Preston Dairy and Farm is currently constructing phase three of their 2014, three phase expansion project. Their project is located just north of the new industrial park along highways 52 and 16. The Preston Dairy and Farm project retains 16 area jobs, the firm plans to add two more positions. Each BDPI grant provides 50% of the public infrastructure cost.
Six acres of hay ground along highway 52 in Preston, formally owned by Robert Doherty, was purchased by the EDA to create three industrial lots at the park. Two of the lots were spoken for, one by Rockny Moger of Bluff Country Manufacturing, who recently completed their 11,000 square foot facility in December 2014. Bluff Country Manufacturing’s project adds a significant tax base, retains 7 jobs and creates 2 new jobs. JMS Agronomics is the second business going into the park. Jason and his wife Mary are planning to build in 2015. Jason has been in business locally for 15 years. His business is new to the City of Preston and will add two full time jobs, one part-time job, along with adding to the local tax base. The EDA is currently entering into an option agreement for the third lot. “The expansions, new construction and annexation will substantially aid the city’s growth and sustain the city utilities, regional tax base and area employment. Expanding infrastructure provides opportunities for future manufacturing and commercial businesses to continue to grow to the north and west of Preston. There has been a lot of economic activity within a two mile stretch in Preston including, B & B’s renovation and the veteran’s cemetery being built,” said Chuck Aug EDA’s President. Casey’s and Family Dollar have also recently located on highway 52.