Immediately after hearing a second wind-energy company had selected the Kansas Logistics Park for a manufacturing plant, county commission Ron Krehbiel was smiling.
“This is phenomenal,” Krehbiel said. “I think this is the biggest thing to happen in a long time.”
He thinks the effect will be felt outside of Newton, home of the logistics park. He sees a benefit for Harvey County, as well.
“I think the whole area will feel this,” Krehbiel said. “All of small towns, everything.”
He’s not alone thinking the entire county will feel the effect of adding more than 750 new jobs during the next four years.
Marge Roberson thinks the addition of Tindall Corp. and New Millenium Wind Energy will be a boon to Harvey County.
“I think this will do what AGCO did for Hesston,” Roberson said. “And I see this as the beginning.”
The addition of the manufacturing plant should lead to a broader tax base, Roberson said.
But it is more than that.
“We will have the kind of jobs kids come back home for,” Roberson said.
Jobs with the manufacturers will pay between $40,000 and $50,000, according to the Harvey County  Economic Development Council.
The county has been a partner to the city in the creation of the Kansas Logistics Park, funding some of the land acquisition at an estimated $2.1 million.
Pending fulfillment of financial obligations, ownership of the park will be divided between Newton and Harvey County. The city will own 66 percent of the park, and the county will own the other 34 percent.
When the county entered into an agreement with the city to help attract Tindall, some voiced skepticism at a March 2010 meeting of the commission — it seemed like a risky move in the middle of a recession.
Commissioner Chip Westfall said he believes the work has paid off.
“Landing a second tenant at the logistics park justifies all the work that has been done,” Westfall said.