Mason City will be the home of a new 55-million dollar ethanol plant. The plant will be owned by the New Hampton-based ethanol cooperative, Golden Energy Grain. It will be located on a 60-acre site just south of Mason City and employ up to 40 people at an average wage of 35-thousand dollars a year. Officials say the plant should open by the spring of 2004. The plant will use up to 15 million bushels of corn to produce up to 40 million gallons of ethanol each year. City and Cerro Gordo county officials are praising the announcement as a boon to the region’s economy. Company officials say the presence of Alliant Energy in the area and access to the Avenue of the Saints and rail lines pushed Mason City to the top of the list 28 of places being considered for the plant.