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Posted on  

October 30, 2002

Randolph vying for ethanol plant

By Paul Scharf -- Special to the Daily Register

RANDOLPH -- Town officials confirmed they are interested in a proposed ethanol plant which would be built by United Wisconsin Grain Producers.

The group has also been looking at the possibility of placing the plant in Arlington for the past several months.

"The board is excited about it," said town Clerk Rodney Kok. Kok noted the Town Board was contacted by UWGP, and that its director, Cal Dalton, another representative of the business, and Nancy Elsing of the Columbia County Economic Development Corp., all visited a Town Board meeting this summer. The board passed a resolution at its October meeting, which states in part: " ... the Town of Randolph Board supports the siting of an ethanol production facility in this township."

In the text of that resolution, the board cites a number of potential benefits from the facility, including: "creation of 30 to 40 technical jobs, tax revenue," and the fact "the town has lost revenue from the decrease in animal production, and this facility has the potential of recovering some of this lost revenue."

Kok believes UWGP is planning to progress with its consideration of the township for a new plant.

"I understand they were going to rent some office space in Friesland so that they could be locally available to answer questions and promote the thing," he said.

A representative of UWGP contacted Delbert DeYoung of Cupery and DeYoung Storage regarding the possibility of opening an office on their property in Friesland.

"They haven't made a commitment yet," DeYoung said, adding the office space would be in the Cupery and DeYoung dispatch office if UWGP accepts a quote the business made to them.

"I think it would be an excellent thing," said Kok. "It would be good for the farmers and it would be a good neighbor. I think it would be good for the country, too, because it would cut dependence on foreign oil."

He also noted local farmers could benefit from some of the by-products that would be produced at the plant, such as that which could be used for cattle feed.

Kok said any site on which the ethanol plant would be built would need to have access to a railroad, would have to be near a state highway and would require access to natural gas.

"I think we in the town of Randolph have a lot to offer them," said Town board chairman David Hughes.



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