The city of Colo has been waiting patiently for around 10 years to see something built in its business park along Highway 30.
Finally, the city’s patience and preparation has paid off. A business is coming to the 11-acre, 12-lot park.
Late this August or early this September, Ryan and Katy McKinney of Colo said construction will begin on an 80 x 120-foot warehouse and a 40 x 40-foot office building that will house their Pioneer Seed business. Their lot - 2.6 acres - sits at the corner of Progress Drive and West Street, directly across from land owned by Ryan’s grandfather, Ray Granger.
In fact, Ryan, who has taken over his father Keith’s Pioneer dealership, said he had first considered putting up his buildings on his grandfather’s land. The business has outgrown his father’s place, where it has been located, he said. With his grandfather’s land so close to the city’s development park, Ryan said he decided to talk to the city and things progressed from there.
His demonstration plot for Pioneer will be on his grandfather’s land, right across from his business.
Ryan, a 1989 graduate of Colo-Nesco, is a third-generation Pioneer Seed salesman. His grandfather, Victor McKinney, started with Pioneer in 1952 and was with the company 25 years. His father was also with the company for 25 years. Ryan is starting on his third year with the company this month.
Representatives from the Colo Telephone Company, Colo City Council (including the mayor), Central Iowa Water and the Colo Development Group, along with McKinney family members, were on hand for an official groundbreaking ceremony this past Saturday. Everyone is excited to see the Colo Business Park finally sprout a business.
"It’s great," said Colo City Clerk Scott Berka, who said one more official thing for the park - a street sign for the corner of Progress Avenue and West Street - is being worked on right now at the Men’s Reformatory in Anamosa.
Berka said the city of Colo purchased the business park property as part of the sanitary sewer improvement project in 1998. Grant funds helped with part of the purchase. In 2004, the city and Colo Development Group worked together to put infrastructure into the park, and the city received a RISE grant through the Iowa Department of Transportation to cover half of the street work cost. The other half of that street work was funded through a 0-percent-interest loan that came to the city via the Colo Telephone Company, which obtained the funds from the USDA’s Rural Development Program. When repaid by the city, Colo Telephone Company can re-loan the funds to other businesses.
Ryan said he hopes to be open for business at his new location by this November.