Jan. 22, 2007

Dassel considers getting new 40-acre industrial park

Spectralytics might anchor new park with a 30,000-square-foot expansion north of Dassel

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Spectralytics of Dassel might become an anchor business in a 40-acre industrial park the City of Dassel is considering, the city council heard Tuesday.

The site of the new industrial park will be just north of Dassel on the west side of Highway 15. A gravel township road, 235th Street, runs just to the south side of the property being considered.

A ballpark estimate of getting city utility services to the site is $250,000, according to City Administrator Myles McGrath.

McGrath said the numbers are “scary,” but future industrial growth is good for Dassel.

Mayor Ava Flachmeyer said an industrial park project might make the best opportunity for getting a new water tower also. She also said she was excited about Dassel possibly getting the park.

Gary Oberg, CEO of Spectralytics said the laser micro-welding, drilling and cutting company has been expanding rapidly. In four years, its revenues increased 40 percent, and it has added 40 jobs. Spectralytics employes 96 now, and it needs to employ more, said Oberg of Darwin.

Spectralytics, which is capable of making precision medical equipment, such as orthopedic implants, catheters, surgical hypo tubing, stents and embolic protection devices, is now in a 22,000-square-foot facility at 145 S. Third St.

Oberg said Spectralytics would like to start building a 30,000-square-foot building on eight acres in Dassel this spring, to be ready for occupancy in the fall.

“Our heart and soul is here in Dassel. We’d like to stay here, if at all possible.” Oberg said.

Spectralytics can’t expand at its present location because there isn’t enough room for a bigger building and parking lot. The ground to the south of Dassel is mostly peat, and would have to be excavated, pointed out Council Member Bob Wilde.

Oberg said construction would be delayed if they stayed at their current location because they would have to get permission from the utilities to move power poles. Also, the Haekenkamp development, where the Meeker Memorial Clinic is located, has only four acres left, and is too small.

Oberg said Spectralytics’ sales department is forecasting a 50 percent increase in sales. The current plant is operating five shifts, 24 hours a day.

“We are maxing out our facility rapidly,” he said.

In the meantime, the city is continuing to work on provisions and details for the project, so the council can make a decision whether to build the park.

To access past and present minutes of city council meetings, go to the web site ci.dassel.mn.us or contact the city at (320) 275-2454.

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