Archive for Tuesday, November 18, 1997


November 18, 1997


— A new John Deere dealership that will employ 22 people will be open in Baldwin by summer.

A 25,000-square-foot John Deere dealership that would serve five counties and employ 22 people is coming to town.

The Baldwin City Council on Monday night approved the sale of about 17 acres of land in the city's industrial park on the east side of town to Heritage Tractor Inc.

The business plans to begin work on the new facility in January and may be open by summer, Baldwin City Administrator Brian Wilcox said.

"I think the elected officials are very excited about this," he said. "I do expect that there will be a spinoff of economic benefit."

According to a letter presented to the council by Ken Wagner, president of Heritage Tractor, the facility will sell agricultural and residential equipment and parts, and provide service.

The dealership, which will replace a John Deere dealership that closed in Ottawa, will serve Douglas, Johnson, Miami, Franklin and Osage counties, Wagner said in his letter.

"While some employees will undoubtedly come from the area, others will relocate to the area and make Baldwin City their home," he said.

Wagner added that he will offer "competitive wage and benefit packages" for his employees.

Under the agreement with the city, Wagner purchased four lots, or 16.9 acres of land, in the industrial park for $60,000.

There were no tax abatements included in the deal.

Plans call for the dealership to be housed in a steel-framed building with masonry in front.

The building initially would be 25,000 square feet, with a 10,000-square-foot warehouse to be added later, Wagner said in the letter.

The 25,000-square-foot building will include a 16,000-square-foot service department, 5,000-square-foot parts department and 4,000-square-foot office and display area.

The purchase agreement was approved unanimously by the council.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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