Schuneman Equipment in Tyler is set to expand starting in April, almost doubling the size of its facility and adding three new jobs, pending city and county approval of a 10-year tax abatement.
"I owned Southwest Implement for 30 years and last year merged with Schunemans and kept the name," said Charlie Swenson, part owner and member of Schuneman's board of directors. "We're expanding the building in Tyler; it's going to be primarily a shop, wash bay, and new offices."
Swenson said the new facility should be finished by next August.
Tyler City Administrator Bruce Williams said Schuneman has asked the city and Lincoln County for an 80 percent tax abatement for 10 years. Schuneman will still pay the current tax rate on the existing facility, and 20 percent of the assessment on the new part.
"It means the business will stay here in Tyler," Williams said. "The expansion means they will be able to service the latest and best equipment.
When representatives of the city of Tyler and Schuneman appeared at the first meeting of the year of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 3 to present the proposal, outgoing board chairman Don Evers remarked that the sense of the commission was to grant the abatement.
Tyler councilman and Tyler Economic Development Commission member Mervyn Peterson agreed.
"Why wouldn't we be for it?" Peterson said. "It's win-win. It's a wonderful thing, we're always trying to get more businesses and expand existing ones with good paying jobs. We're really happy they decided to do this in Tyler; they could have gone someplace else."
Swenson said the new part of the building has been needed for some time now, as tractors and combines have gotten bigger.
After the expansion is complete the company will be looking to hire three repair technicians at salaries in the $35,000 range.
A public hearing will be held by the Tyler City Council at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Tyler Fire Hall, to consider the application for tax abatement, according to Peterson. A hearing will be held by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at 11 a.m. Feb. 7.
Vince Robinson, facilitator of the Lincoln County Enterprise Development Corporation, supports the proposed tax abatement.
"Obviously we're very excited about the opportunity to work with Schuneman," Robinson said. "Agriculture is the primary industry of Lincoln County, and whatever enhances business that supports agriculture enhances the economic viability of the county as a whole."