5 years ago

• New expansion at Tuffy's to be 'the biggest one of all':

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Tuffy's Pet Foods is planning to build a new factory, a major project that is likely to exceed every other construction project ever completed in Perham, in terms of cost.

With an estimated $40 million price tag, "this is the biggest construction project we've seen in Perham," according to the city's Economic Development Authority Director, Chuck Johnson. Outdoing even the new hospital and previous expansions at Tuffy's parent company, KLN Family Brands, "This is going to be the biggest one of all."

Johnson spoke to city councilors at a meeting Monday, before the council signed off on a development agreement with Tuffy's. The agreement includes tax increment financing for the project.

In a memo to the council, Johnson laid out the company's plans for the new factory. It will be approximately 92,000-square-feet, with 45-foot walls and a 110-foot-tall tower on the east end.

It will be built right across the street from the existing Tuffy's facility, between 2nd and 3rd Streets N.W., behind the Tuffy's office building. Additional employee parking near the office building is also part of the project plan.

Tuffy's Manager Jon Ebeling, who was also at Monday's meeting, said the expansion will serve two primary purposes: it will modernize the plant to meet current production standards, providing the company with more product control and separation, and; it will increase the factory's capacity from 130,000 tons annually to 200,000 tons.

The current facility will continue to hold the grinding and packaging areas, while the new facility will house three new extruders and a large freezer area to store meat.

Ebeling said new deodorizers are also planned as a part of the project, to help control odors from the plant's meat operations.

Product will flow back and forth between the new and existing facilities via overhead tubes. Truck traffic in the area is not expected to increase.

The estimated $40 million cost of the facility includes $18 million for construction and $22 million in equipment.

 

• A soldier comes home:

Jeffrey Pulford was just 17 years old when he joined the Army.

A junior at Perham High School, he already knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

He joined the service, he said, because "I remember when the towers were hit, and I've always had that feeling of serving and protecting. I like being out in the front. I like being a leader. And I like helping others in a way that not everyone does."

The "towers," of course, were the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, which collapsed on September 11, 2001, as a result of the largest terrorist attack to ever hit United States soil. Nearly 3,000 people were killed, and another 9,000 injured.

Pulford was only a child when it happened, but the images he saw on the news never left him.

He knew that he wanted to protect people and to help them in times like that, times of great tragedy and hardship.

He joined the National Guard as soon as he was legally old enough and has no regrets. Today, eight years later, he's a First Lieutenant in the Army, recently returned from his first deployment overseas.

And he's brought a Bronze Star Medal back with him.

The fourth-highest individual military award, the Bronze Star is given to soldiers for meritorious service.

Pulford earned his decoration while serving as a Platoon Leader and Battle Captain during Operation Enduring Freedom. Stationed in Afghanistan for nine months between November 2012 and this past August, he was directly responsible for 33 men and more than $12 million in equipment.

Some of that equipment was lost to the war, but all of his men came home.

And that's what he's most proud of.

 

Thursday, September 12, 2013, Perham Focus

35 years ago

• Perham to get fed Superfunds to clean up its arsenic dump:

The City of Perham will be eligible for Federal Super Funds for cleanup of the arsenic dump on the south side of town it was learned last week when the fed included the city in an amended list of nationwide sites that qualify for federal funds.

The Perham site had originally been proposed for federal funds but was not included on the original list of sites the feds announced over a year ago. It was re-submitted this spring by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed their rules on eligibility.

 

Thursday, September 8, 1983, Perham Enterprise Bulletin

 

• Perham Township takes action to leave hospital district:

Perham Township followed up last Tuesday with a threat made earlier when the board of directors voted to check on withdrawing from the Perham Hospital District.

The Tuesday meeting was called by Town Board Chairman Steve Perszyk when a deadline for cooperation that he had established earlier, at an August 22 meeting involving people from township and hospital administration, had gone by.

"I'm doing what the people want to do," Perszyk claimed when he was contacted for background on the township's move. "I get irritated when we have meeting after meeting and we get no answers. When I'm working on something I'm going to get results."

The motion to check on withdrawing was made by Tom Schepper and was seconded by LeRoy Atkinson, with Perszyk voting along with that motion. There are only three voting members on the board.

Perszyk said the board had received a mandate from the township residents at their annual meeting in March. At that time, the board was told to investigate matters at the hospital and take whatever steps would be necessary, he said.

Hospital Administrator Bob Johnson was contacted Monday this week for his reaction to the vote of the town board.

"I'm not sure three guys represent a very large opinion," said Johnson.

When Perszyk was asked what the reason for withdrawing was, he cited a number of situations including the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) project, which is proposed for Perham, a proposed expansion at the hospital, plus the fact that the hospital had refused to publish the salaries for all employees in the newspaper.

 

Thursday, September 15, 1983, Perham Enterprise Bulletin