TRIMONT - Bit by bit, the Town Center Inc. project in Trimont is reaching its goal.
The project aims to set up a one-stop-shop to give the Trimont area a grocery store, liquor store, and fuel bay that sells diesel and ethanol along with gasoline. The facility will be located on the south end of Trimont, on the east side of Highway 4.
The idea has been many years in the planning, with the first public meeting for input in 2010. Since then, the group behind the project obtained non-profit status, and also received a USDA loan that requires matching funds.
"Our initial goal is $600,000," said Randy Grupe, lead finance campaign manager for the project. "Currently, we are around $565,000 to $570,000 donated or pledged. When we get to that, the remainder will be taken care of with the USDA loan. The total project is about $3 million."
Contributions like the recent $2,500 donation won by Cory Ebeling of Trimont as part of the America's Farmers Grow Communities have been steadily helping the Town Center project. The donation was sponsored by Monsanto.
"What happened was Monsanto called and asked us if we wanted to nominate a non-profit in our area to receive $2,500," explained Stacy Ebeling, Cory's wife. "We put in everyone's names, and his was the one that was drawn."
"Monsanto sponsors events for area farmers, where they have the chance to sign up for things," Grupe said. "The Ebelings were gracious enough to donate to us, since we do have a 501c3 status."
The America's Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support non-profit organizations working in rural communities. The program was launched nationally in 2011, with nearly 1,300 counties in 39 states eligible for the funds.
As the Town Center project closes in on its fundraising goal, Grupe is hopeful the funds will be attained sometime this spring.
"I've been in meetings almost daily working with people and companies," he said. "Once this is reached, then we can really start to make progress."
Those interested in contributing to the project can contact Grupe at (507) 236-8099.