Granary update



At this month’s Fiscal Court meeting, an update was given on the granary. Judge/Executive Leslie Stith and Magistrates Billy Sipes and Gary Chapman recently attended a meeting as they set on the joint committee with those in Harrison County, IN that are working to build a new grain handling facility just across the river in Mauckport. Sipes said that an engineering study should be completed within a couple months and that should really help progress things because they will get back some numbers to know exactly what it’s going to cost.

Representatives from Meade County, Harrison County and Archer Daniels Midland continue to work to bring a granary back to the area. ADM’s closest grain handling facility is in Rockport, IN across from Owensboro where many farmers haul grain to currently.

“I think we are all very optimistic about the granary,” Judge Stith said. “It’s just an expensive thing right to build. That’s where we are running into a little bit of a gully -- it’s cost.”

From March of 2020 to July of 2021, steel prices went up around 215 percent. Prior to the pandemic, it was trading in the $500 to $800 range, according to Fortune magazine. The first week of July 2021 saw hot rolled steel climb to an all-time high, trading at $1,825. Prices have cooled off considerably from last year but are still quite elevated. Mid-June saw prices trading around $1,125 a ton, and July has saw prices continue to drop to around $915.

Building a grain handling facility consists of a lot of concrete and a whole lot of steel. So, a facility that would cost, say, $8,000,000 pre-pandemic to build, suddenly became a $16,000,000 to $20,000,000 project. Now, these numbers are arbitrary just to show an example of just what kind of a roadblock inflation is causing to major construction projects, such as building a new granary, right now.

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