Thursday, 31 May 2018 10:23

11-22 Seed cleaning plant passes first hurdle

Written by  Jamie Rieger
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The first hurdle has been cleared for the 11-22 Seed Cleaning Plant as it works to building a bigger, more efficient facility with better access for the grain haulers.

At their May 15 meeting, Cypress County council voted in favour of approving a rezoning change from Agricultural IDP to Industrial District for a parcel of land a couple kilometres east of Veinerville. L. Gill Ventures submitted the application for the rezoning the land that would accommodate the new $10 million seed cleaning plant on 18 acres.
"Our first hurdle was getting the re-zoning approved," said Garry Lentz, chair of the 11-22 board, adding that a number of locations were considered before selecting the one along Highway 41A.
"We looked at locations along the (Township Road) 120, 41A, and close to Dunmore. Probably the vast majority of our traffic are using the 41A now," said Lentz.
The 11-22 Seed Cleaning Plant, located on Bridge Street in the Flats area of Medicine Hat has long outgrown its facility, and so have the trucks that are hauling grain to be sorted and cleaned. Back in 1964 when the plant was built, farmers were hauling their grain in three-tonne grain trucks.
"The plant is in the east Flats in Medicine Hat and we are completely hemmed in there," he said. "When the plant was built, they were hauling with three-tonne grain trucks. Then, they started getting tandem trucks and now, they have Super B's."
Lentz said they have been looking at considering a new facility for the last decade.
"The cost has always been a concern for us," he said. "We bought an additional lot a few years ago, but storage was still an issue. Now, at times, things get tied up. The seed gets cleaned, fills up the bin, then we have to wait for the farmer to come pick up his grain. It slows down the whole process."
Improving efficiency is paramount, so a gravity table to sort the grain by weight and density, as well as a colour separator will be added at the new facility, which will increase the capacity by 2.5 times. In designing the new seed cleaning plant, they looked at other similar facilities.
"We toured several new plants in southern Alberta and we're going to copy one built in southern Alberta three years ago," said Lentz.
The next hurdle for them is for the county planning commission to approve the sub-division.

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