By Anna Jauhola
Although the Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator is financially strong, the board and its patrons can see the writing on the wall.
“We can see having financial trouble in the future,” said Marshal Hemmes, chairman of the elevator board.
The board held a special meeting on June 15 at the Humboldt Methodist Church, where 23 patrons attended of 44 who are eligible to vote, Hemmes said. Everyone who owns a share in the elevator received a copy of legal documents regarding the dissolution of the Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator Association. Those who attended voted unanimously in favor of the dissolution.
“Every year we look at the financials and see how well the elevator is financially taking care of itself,” Hemmes said. “We’re losing the market share with bigger terminal elevators and we’re losing our patron base. It’s harder and expenses are going up on everything. We just got to the point where we thought we’re going to have a lot more trouble.”
The vote to dissolve the business will not take effect until the end of 2022, he added. The elevator is up for sale right now, but will continue to purchase grain from anyone who wants to sell and, of course, honor all forward contracts with farmers.
The elevator celebrated its century mark in 2019. The hope is another entity will purchase the Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator so it can continue operating.
Right now, the facility is out on bid through Thursday, Sept. 15. All bids will go to the board’s attorney who will also handle opening the bids.
Worst case scenario is no one buys it and the facility would have to be torn down as it sits on railroad leased property.
“Our desire is that someone would buy it. We just don’t know if that will happen,” Hemmes said.
By Anna Jauhola