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U.S. Salt Comes to Madison with No State Corporate Welfare

Madison workers, back to the salt mines!

Christmas brought the promise of a new employer to my hometown. U.S. Salt, based in Burnsville, Minnesota, is expanding its operations to Madison. The company will bring five jobs, maybe more, to the building previously used by Dakota Vinyl, which closed five years ago. U.S. Salt supplies bulk and bagged salt for de-icing and water conditioning, but not for French fries.

According to Julie Gross, executive director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, the railroad was the key driver in U.S. Salt's decision. The Dakota Vinyl building sits on an upgraded spur of the Burlington Northern line (which ends a half-mile west at the elevator). It would appear that owner Tom Johnson is maximizing the advantage of rail efficiency and planning to use Madison as a central distribution point for sales around eastern South Dakota. (Expect John Goeman and Russ Olson to add this expansion to their list of reasons to make Highway 34 a four-laner!)

Governor Dennis Daugaard's announcement of the business expansion made me wonder what corporate welfare he was handing out to our new Minnesota friends. However, unlike its predecessor, U.S. Salt does not yet appear to be receiving any incentives from the Governor's Office of Economic Development. GOED spokesperson Natalie Likness tells me, "To date, no state incentives have been awarded to U.S. Salt."

Locally, Madison economic development chief Julie Gross says U.S. Salt will qualify for the Heartland CPD's hiring incentives. But so far, there's no word of taxpayer dollars being injured in the making of this deal. Now that's Unexpected!


  1. Rick 2013.12.29

    Julie Gross ... the same Julie Gross (NE) who comments on the DWC and seems to be disturbingly obsessed with you? That Julie Gross?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.29

    No, no, no, no, no! I spoke with the real Julie Gross, who has no unhealthy obsession with me but is kind enough to return my calls. The rude commenter to whom you refer is probably Andrew Shiers, who in his cowardly commenting has stolen the names of various decent Madison people whom he may have known during his brief and litigious teaching tenure at DSU.

  3. oldguy 2013.12.29

    That's just plain wrong using another person's real name

  4. Wayne Pauli 2013.12.29

    I wish people would use their names because when they use pseudonyms it feels like they are hiding something. What are you hiding? How about you, and you, and that lady :-).

  5. Merlyn Schutterle 2013.12.29

    Salute, Wayne Pauli! I always use my real name as well. For those of us who have a little courage...

  6. Wayne Pauli 2013.12.30

    the folks that are cloaked in anonymity never reply to my request to use their real name. I just discount everything they say. They are using the Internet as a toy, not as an information / opinion sharing medium.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.30

    Wayne, Merlyn, I continue to tolerate the participation of the pseudonymous who will at least share their real names with me privately. But I have no problem at all with Wayne's choice to discount comments from folks who will not share their names with him. I have received useful information and insights from folks who feel a need for anonymity, but on the whole, I continue to find that the conversation is better when we all know each other's names.

    So Wayne, do we know the names of anyone who's been hired to work for U.S. Salt yet? And do you see Amert or Williams heading down their with heavy equipment to build berms to prevent spilled salt from running off to the creek and Lake Madison?

  8. Lynn G. 2013.12.30

    Wayne, Merlin I understand your concern for some anonymous or not full names posting but please consider other circumstances that may justify it. One justification although hopefully being very small is maybe a person was a victim of a stalker which now has a felony. You still want to participate in helping bring about positive change yet still protect yourself with some degree of privacy.

  9. Lynn G. 2013.12.30

    sorry! back on topic..... lol

  10. Les 2013.12.30

    Wayne, a good friend owned a clothing store and was on the school board. He made an unpopular decision with the teachers who then boycotted, personally and through their students. I really could care less, but I do not feel my big mouth should affect my partner. Cory can attest that I'm real, though maybe not always real welcome at Maddville..(~;
    Back on topic. Salt, the king of creations in the kitchen. It does a body good!

  11. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2013.12.30

    As Les and Lynn have said, there are valid reasons for a level of anonymity. I base my responses to such commenters on the quality of their comments.

    There were several years when anonymity was necessary for me as I commented here and on Blogmore. I was the same person then as now, and tried to contribute well.

    One aspect of anonymity that I found to be true was that I was less judicious with some comments than I am now. I wasn't trying to be mean, but anonymity does bring a level of protection from the results of one's written words. Perhaps that isn't true for others, but it was for me.

    I prefer using my name, as I am now. It's just easier. But I don't feel anonymity is a measure of one's character. It may be - in connection with other aspects of one's behavior.

    I'm done with that topic now. Thanks for listening.

Comments are closed.