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Published September 18, 2013, 12:31 PM

ND ag-processing company expands

Reile’s Transfer and Delivery Inc., a Fargo, N.D.,-based processing and delivery business, is expanding into the food processing industry with a $10 million project in Grand Forks, N.D.

By: Kevin Bonham , Forum News Service

Reile’s Transfer and Delivery Inc., a Fargo, N.D.,-based processing and delivery business, is expanding into the food processing industry with a $10 million project in Grand Forks, N.D.

The operation will remove impurities from raw sugar and edible soybeans and ship the food-grade products by truck and rail to customers nationwide for further processing, according to Dean Mertz, general manager .

The plant, which will be built just south of the intersection of Interstate 29 North and Highway 81 North, is expected to be open by the summer of 2014, employing about 14 people within five years, Mertz says.

The company is seeking a five-year declining property tax exemption from Grand Forks County, according to Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation Vice President Keith Lund.

The County Commission set a public hearing on the exemption request for 4 p.m. Oct. 15.

According to its application, the project includes a $7.1 million, 145,000-square-foot building, $1.7 million in machinery and equipment, and land valued at $1.365 million.

The Grand Forks location, in Falconer Township, provides the company with access to BNSF Railroad, according to Mertz.

“Shipping value-added ag products is something that’s not done a lot by rail,” he says. “We think it’s a real opportunity.”

It’s also quite a step for a family-owned company founded by Mertz’s grandfather, he says.

Reile’s started as a local delivery and freight transfer company and later expanded into local moving, furniture and appliance services, according to the company website. It later expanded into a transfer service covering a three-state area of North and South Dakota and Minnesota.

In 1990, it began offering warehousing, storage and distribution services, with 185,000 square feet of space in two food-grade warehouses. It later added another 100,000 square feet.

Once the new facility is operating in rural Grand Forks, it will start to look at other opportunities, with an eye toward cashing in on the expanding energy industry in western North Dakota.

“There are other things we can do here with rail, maybe doing some shipping to and from the Oil Patch,” Mertz says.

Details were not immediately available on where Reile’s would obtain its raw sugar and soybeans.

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