Farm & Fleet Announces New Building in Morton

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Blain's Farm & Fleet - Janesville, WI – APRIL 1, 2013 – Blain’s Farm & Fleet plans to build a new 127,000 square foot store and remain in Village of Morton. Blain’s Farm & Fleet has been a member of the Morton community since 1974. The new store will be located on the south side of Courtland Avenue at the intersection of North Morton Avenue.

“Frankly, we have known for some time that we’ve outgrown our old location. The facility is no longer representative of what we have grown to become as a retailer nor support the image we want to project to the shopping public,” said Robert Blain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

“During our search for a site that will support the long-term growth of our operation, we seriously considered locating in other communities. Many were quite receptive and eager to lure us away with some very attractive municipal development inceptives. Given that each site we evaluated had its own pluses and minuses, our decision to remain in Morton came down to two things. One was our corporate culture. Our founders made the decision almost 40 years ago that Morton was the right place to put down roots and invest their hard-earned money. Over the years, Morton and the surrounding communities have been very good to us, and it is our wish to continue to support our founders’ decision. The second was our ability to work with the Village administration to address not only the developmental needs of our site but their broader view of addressing the needs of the surrounding area in order to support the orderly, future growth that will promote economic health for the community as a whole.

“As we began the process of weighing the concept of a new store, possible site evaluations, and community locations, our first meeting with Morton officials was in early June last year. We met with Morton Economic Development, Village President Durflinger, and Village Trustee Newhouse to discuss our options in Morton and the challenges those options presented. Then and throughout our dealing with the Village, we found President Norm Durflinger and Trustee Steve Newhouse, as well as Public Works Superintendent Craig Loudermilk, Planning and Zoning Officer Roger Spangler, along with Village Attorney Tom Davies, to be firm yet practical minded in representing the interests of the Village. All the while, they worked to strike a balance of pro-business support that makes financial sense for both parties and at the same time serves to promote the economic health and vitality of the Village that we are making this major financial investment in. It is a true partnership that is a long-term win-win for everyone!”

Terms of Blain’s Farm & Fleet’s business development agreement with Village include:
•    Village purchase of existing Blain’s Farm & Fleet 89,000 square foot facility on a 15-year, no interest loan for two million dollars.
•    Construction of the new Blain’s Farm & Fleet will generate in excess of $100,000 in Village fees.
•    Conservative estimate of 40 percent increase in sales tax revenue to the Village that is rebated from State of Illinois each year.
•    Approximately $70,000 incremental increase in additional property taxes paid to Village on an annual basis.

Local economic benefits:
•    Company looks to add 20 additional jobs on top of the current 87
•    Upwards of 20 different building trades and over 270 tradespeople will touch the project. Blain said, “It is our hope to work with as many qualified, locally based contractors as possible. We are very early in the building plan development phase so no bids have been let or contracts awarded.”
•    At present, start date will hinge upon receiving the necessary village approvals. Assuming everything progresses in a timely and orderly manner, opening of the store will be July of 2014.