Zierkes closer to support

Local News

The owners of Zierke Built Mfg., Inc. have moved a step closer in gaining the support of Winnebago city leaders for the company’s relocation to Fairmont.

Kyle Zierke and his father, Greg, attended a recent Economic Development Authority meeting and told board members the company’s two buildings will be put up for sale immediately after they leave town.

“I’m sick and tired of reading stuff in the newspaper and looking like a bad guy,” says Kyle Zierke. “I want to leave town on a good note.”

Greg Zierke says, “We’ll be pretty aggressive once we put the properties on market. We just want a fair price and try to help the city.”

The City Council in the past has debated the company’s move because the Zierkes have requested a release letter from the city, which would enable ZBM to be eligible for state funding if needed.

Kyle Zierke says ZBM sought a new location because the company plans to expand and the cost of upgrading its current facilities would be astronomical.

City Administrator Chris Ziegler says the city no longer wants to purchase one of the Zierke buildings for its Public Works Department.

“We’re more interested in putting the property into private hands to create more jobs,” he says.

The Zierkes will be asking $490,000 for the main building or $600,000 for both. In 2013, the fair market value for the ZBM property was $680,000.

Ziegler says he would like to see an agreement that says if the Zierkes cannot sell the property after 18 months on the market, that the city could purchase it at the accessed value.

It’s not clear whether such an option will be worked out, but the EDA did decide that the City Council should consider giving the Zierkes a release letter.

ZBM, a national and international supplier of custom fabricated products, will be leaving the city sometime between January and April 2017.

In another matter, Ziegler hinted the city may be interested in the Kaduce Plumbing building for the Public Works Department.

The business was located north of town on U.S. Highway 169 before moving its operations to Mankato.

Chris Kaduce is scheduled to meet with councilmembers in closed-session at their Sept. 13 meeting.

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