City Commissioners heard the McPherson Industrial Development Company’s quarterly report at Monday’s commission meeting.

City Commissioners heard the McPherson Industrial Development Company’s quarterly report at Monday’s commission meeting. The consensus is that business is booming in Mac County.
“I don’t think you’ll find an economic organization that will work harder to get businesses what they need than here in McPherson,” MIDC Executive Director Brad Eilts said.
Many local businesses have announced upcoming expansions. Hospira announced last May that they would be expanding over the next five years, bringing in approximately 150 jobs and $120 million in capital investment in real and personal property.
In October Viega announced their expansion to include a new metal fittings production line in a newly constructed 80,000-square-foot building. The project is expected to create 100 jobs.
Mid-Kansas Coooperative along with CHS Inc. recently completed a $38 million grain storage shuttling and loading facility near Canton. This project created 10 new jobs paying more than $50,000 annually.
National Cooperative Refinery Association has officially become CHS Inc. Their $1.2 billion investment of a new Coker and plant expansion is still on track.
PrairieLand Partners announced it will be building a John Deere facility off of Interstate 135. This 100,000-square-foot facility will house a dealership, training facility and house administrative functions. This will be the largest John Deere facility in America and is expected to create at least 15 jobs with an annual payroll of $1 million.
Invista will soon be extruding nylon pipe for oil fields, called the Raptor. Part of Koch Industries, this will be the first Invista production facility in Kansas.
Eilts also informed the commission that the median wage increased again in 2014, and McPherson has one of the highest in the state at $16.63 per hour. This is 17 percent higher than others in the region.
“In all honesty, with regards to economic development, I can’t imagine a more exciting place to be as here and at this time,” Eilts said.

BPU
McPherson Board of Public Utilities has determined certain averages when it comes to McPherson power. According to recent numbers, McPherson residents experience 30.9 minutes of power outage in one year. This falls well below the average as in this region, most residents experience 55 minutes a year. It also falls below other areas of the same size, which are averaging 87 minutes.
On average, 25 percent of customer have a power outage each years. This too falls below the average in the region, which is just under 27 percent. In the region most outages are caused by trees, followed by squirrels. In McPherson, the majority of power outages are a result of storms, followed by electrical equipment failure.
“We appreciate having a well-run BPU.” McPherson Mayor Tom Brown said. “We are very lucky.”

Fire department
The McPherson Fire Department reiterated that the city of McPherson falls under the jurisdiction of Fire District No. 10. This fire district is subject to McPherson County Resolution 2010-4. This resolution regulates fires and open burning in unincorporated areas. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in fines and/or imprisonment.

Public works
The commission approved Ordinance No. 3169 authorizing the execution of a Kansas Department of Health and Environment revolving loan.
The loan is estimated to be for $2,884,306 with a 2.6 percent interest rate, making the amount owed $3,639,994. The funds from the loan will be used to pay for various sewage projects around the city.
In order to repay the loan, the city raised the sewage rates slightly. Effective Jan. 1, both base and unit sewer rates in McPherson increased. The increase took the base rate from $14.50 to $15 and the unit rate from $2 to $2.30 for residential properties.
The Oxford Pointe Drainage Project is expected to take a couple more weeks. All concrete behind houses and permanent seeding has been completed. Currently crews are working on removing water to place pond markers and the slope drain.
The Barnstormers East Drainage Project has seen some progress as the pilot channel ditch is approximately one-third complete, and the cul-de-sac and parking are complete.