American Ag Labs receives grant
McCOOK, Neb. -- The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has just announced approval of a grant for the expansion of American Agricultural Laboratory, Inc. The grant to McCook Economic Development Corporation from the Site and Building Fund in the amount of $297,060 is intended to assist in the purchase and renovation of the former Alco building in McCook. The McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has also extended a loan of $75,000 from the City Economic Development Fund towards new equipment needed in the project. Business owners Kevin and Christine Grooms have worked with representatives of NEDED and MEDC over the past year in an effort to find a cost effective solution to their expansion needs. "Our business has grown considerably in the past few years and we are at a point where our current facility is no longer adequate if we are to continue to meet our customer's needs" says Kevin, "we really appreciate the assistance of the state and MEDC in securing the gap funding we needed to accompany our bank financing to complete the project." Based on the size of the project five new jobs are expected to be created.
MEDC Executive Director Rex Nelson said that this is a particularly attractive project as the Grooms have demonstrated a very high level of management skill, they employ a number of degreed technical people and the business is an "export" business that brings revenue into the community from outside the area, from other states and even internationally. A loan from the former Red Willow County Revolving Loan Fund that assisted in the purchase of the business from Robert Olsen in 2007 was repaid by the Grooms' late last year. "It was important that we had local funding available for the project" says Nelson "as the state needs to know that we are doing our part locally to grow our own economy before they want to add state resources".
The project will include changes to plumbing, electrical and heating and air conditioning systems, with the addition of several pieces of new equipment to handle larger sample volumes. Improved efficiency and work flow is a key goal for the new facility. Construction is expected to begin June 1, 2015 with hopes of being ready for the typical fall rush of soil testing.