BICKNELL — City officials have sold three acres in the industrial park to a relatively new local manufacturer.
Mayor Thomas Estabrook said at a special meeting of the city’s Board of Works on Wednesday, members agreed to sell the land underneath a building previously occupied by KCARC, one located at 7382 Russell Drive, to Basiloid Diversified Products, a manufacturer of fork lift parts.
The board weeks ago took bids on the ground, which the city has owned, Estabrook said, for years.
They later discussed them in executive session.
Basiloid Diversified Products, until recently, was based in Elnora, but the facility there sustained damage in a fire last year.
Estabrook said the company looked to Bicknell for space, eventually working with KCARC in securing that building.
They’ve been operating there, the mayor said, for at least six months.
The owner, Estabrook said, unsure of whether or not it would be a permanent move, eventually approached the city about buying the ground underneath the building.
And the city, he said, was eager to oblige.
“The building he is in was owned by KCARC but the ground is ours; it goes back to a lease agreement that dates back about 30 years,” he said.
“But he came to us and said, ‘I want to buy the ground underneath the building as well as another small piece.’ So we went through the process of getting that done.”
Estabrook said the board accepted Basiloid Diversified Products’ bid of $2,000 for the approximately three acres of land. They’re happy, he said, to get it back on the tax rolls.
He is unsure whether or not Basiloid has bought the building from KCARC, but he is hopeful that with the ground now secured, the manufacturer is here to stay.
Currently, he estimates, they employ 10-15 people.
“This is probably the largest industrial employer we’ve had come here or be interested in Bicknell in decades,” the mayor said excitedly. “The jobs that could come from this are the type of high-wage jobs that are going to invest in the community and are going to help turn it around.
“This potential investment is the momentum we want,” he said. “It’s the type of business we want to come to our community, offer jobs, pay property taxes.
“It was a no-brainer for us.”