On Wednesday, there was a meeting with about 30 folks at Spiritwood concerning road conditions and needs once the ADM soybean crush plant is in operation. Attendees included North Dakota Soybean Growers Association members (with Executive Director Nancy Johnson chairing the meeting), North Dakota Soybean Council directors and North Dakota Corn Grower members. There were also four North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) personnel that attended. NDDOT Director Bill Panos, Deputy Director for Engineering Ron Henke along with their deputy director of planning as well as their regional person in charge attended. Then there were ADM folks, Stutsman and Barnes county highway staff, economic developers and other growers.
Time was well spent talking about how money comes to the NDDOT and how to maximize the chances of bringing grant monies to the projects needed. The group agreed that roads concentrated around the crush plant need to be the focus before trying to get enough dollars to build up infrastructure for the entire radius served by the plant. It only makes sense and the need to form a corridor of major roads seemed to meet agreement with all. A committee was formed to map out routes and will proceed from there.
Discussion was also around the numbers of trucks unloading. Approximate estimates of daily visits would be around 200 a day and up to 5,000 per month. Very little product will be trucked out as the vast majority will exit the plant by rail. However, should our wishes that area animal feeding operations increase be realized, a corresponding amount would be trucked away. It was one of those rare meetings whereby most in attendance felt it was informative, productive and professionally conducted.
Okay, this is a continuation of reporting from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) meeting that I spoke of in Murphy’s Law...