BELLE FOURCHE | The grand opening for the Industrial Rail Park and groundbreaking for Permian Tank and Manufacturing's new plant will see Gov. Dennis Daugaard on hand to celebrate Belle Fourche economic development efforts.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the Community Hall. The program includes comments by the governor, Mayor Gary Hendrickson, Belle Fourche Development Company President Scott Peterson and Permian Tank chief executive Jon Cohen and vice president Dan Edling.
At 11 a.m., the activities will move to the Permian groundbreaking at the Industrial Rail Park, which is being developed by the city with $4.5 million budgeted for streets, water and sewer. Black Hills Power will supply electrical needs.
Permian is the first business to commit to the park. It will be the anchor in the facility west of the junction of U.S. Highways 85 and 212 on the north side of Belle Fourche.
Jim Doolittle, the interim executive for the Belle Fourche Development Company, said the company is currently working toward developing a spur from the adjacent DM&E rail line operated by Canadian Pacific. That spur or spurs could supply bulk products both to and from businesses in the park.
The Belle Fourche community's push for economic development gained momentum as the city grew nearly 25 percent after completion of a four-lane link to Interstate 90 at Spearfish.
Development of oil fields in western North Dakota has made Belle Fourche a port for northbound trucks carrying oil field-related equipment.
Community leaders began combined efforts to take advantage of the Belle Fourche location since it is the last major community between the Black Hills and the oil fields.
In the past two years, Belle Fourche has created an independent city-funded development company, a city and Butte County rail authority, invested in the rail park and promoted efforts in cooperation with state development officials.
Permian signed on to build its steel oil tank plant this summer. The company currently builds equipment in Texas and Oklahoma to serve the petroleum industry.
Permian officials said Belle Fourche was attractive because it is near the oil fields, but not so close that it has the problems associated with a boom economy.