Ethanol-pumpThe city of Le Mars has completed plans to build a large ethanol storage facility in its industrial area. Mayor Dick Kirchoff says the facility may be in operation by late this year.

He says it will consist of a 300,000 gallon tank to hold ethanol that’s trucked in and then later loaded onto rail cars.

“So, I think it’s going to be a nice opportunity for the city of Le Mars,” Kirchoff says. The city council first made a five-year agreement with Le Mars Public Storage in order to have an easement to a vacant lot in the industrial park area.

Kirchoff says the storage and loading facility will be operated by Plymouth Energy of Merrill. “What that’s gonna do is to allow them to get into the Chicago market on the C-N Railroad and then on up to Canada,” Kirchoff says.

Kirchoff says city leaders have been meeting and planning for this new venture for the last two-and-a-half years. “One of the things we were always concerned about was safety. And we have taken every precautionary measure during these meetings to make sure the operation is built right. And we feel like we are progressing ahead on it,” Kirchoff says. The Le Mars mayor says the new industry would not have been possible if not for the city making an earlier agreement last April with Burlington Junction Short Line Railroad.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars)