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Dave Olson, Published August 24 2012

Mapleton could see booming business over next few years

MAPLETON, N.D. – This bedroom community of about 760 people a few miles west of Fargo-Moorhead has seen a growth spurt in recent years, Mayor Eric Hillman says.

And that spurt will soon change – to a boom.

The main reasons: a pair of building projects involving a new company coming to town and a current business that’s in the process of expanding.

The larger of the two projects belongs to Horsch Anderson LLC, which breaks ground today on a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in a ceremony scheduled to include an appearance by Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

The groundbreaking will be part of the Mapleton Community Day activities today.

The Horsch Anderson plant, which will make agricultural equipment, is expected to be completed early next year.

When in operation, it promises employment – about 80 new jobs within the first two years.

“After that, we’re hoping to get to the 200 to 300 job mark within four to five years,” said Kory Anderson, president of Horsch Anderson, which has an assembly plant in Andover, S.D.

Anderson said the new plant will serve as the North American headquarters for Horsch Anderson, a collaborative comprised of Horsch Maschinen, of Schwandorf, Germany; Harper Industries of Harper, Kan.; and Anderson Industries, of Aberdeen, S.D. Anderson is also president of Anderson Industries, which has a manufacturing facility in Mapleton.

Anderson said the presence in Mapleton of Anderson Industries and now Horsch Anderson is due to the impression the region made on him when he attended college at North Dakota State University.

“Also, a lot of our subcontractors that we use are from this area,” he said. “Plus, the area around Fargo is a very strong area when it comes to the agriculture industry.

He said the company’s specialty is seeding and tillage equipment.

All of which is good news for Mapleton, Hillman said.

“They’ll be hiring the whole gamut of jobs,” he said, referring to Horsch Anderson.

Hillman said Mapleton is spending about $3.2 million for a new industrial park to accommodate the $6.5 million plant, with the city’s costs to be covered by special assessments paid by benefitting property owners.

“It’s a big move for our town to take on something this size, but we need to be proactive rather than reactive. We need to keep building our town,” Hillman said.

The other project that will start soon involves Great Plains Transport, which moved from Fargo to Mapleton in 2003 and has been leasing space.

When the company’s new 25,000-square-foot headquarters opens sometime in early 2013, it will likely mean about 50 new jobs, mostly over-the-road truck drivers, but also mechanical and office positions, said Bob Holland, the company’s president.

Great Plains Transport employs about 80 people.

“It will give us a lot better chance to grow. Right now, we’re just strapped for space,” Holland said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

Mapleton Community Days

Following a schedule of today’s Mapleton Community Day events:

• 1-5 p.m., inflatable games and dunk tank at Prairie View Park.

• 2 p.m., Gov. Jack Dalrymple at Horsch-Anderson groundbreaking.

• 3 p.m., duck race on Maple River ($5 per duck, cash prize to winner); ice cream social at Arboretum.

• 6-7 p.m., kickball game ages 9 and under at baseball diamond.

• 7-8 p.m., kickball game ages 10 and up at baseball diamond.

• 9 p.m., fireman’s dance at Hagge’s featuring Mother Shipton (21 and older).