London based manufacturing company coming to Neodesha, Kansas
Sicut Enterprises to locate North American manufacturing hub in Neodesha, Kansas.
NEODESHA, Kan. – With a population of roughly two thousand, the close nit community of Neodesha is just one of many that make up the American Heartland. In many cases though, a small town means slow growth.
“It kind of seamed like things had paused,” explains Jeri Hammerschmidt, Community Development Director for the City of Neodesha.
But in the last couple of years, the city’s momentum has been growing.
“We’ve had several wonderful things happen,” says Hammerschmidt.
One of those was back in 2019, with the announcement of the Neodesha Promise Scholarship. The city is also working to address housing shortages — adding three new homes recently, with plans for several more. A new police department is being built, and a new city park is in development.
But Hammerschmidt explains their latest news is among the most exciting.
“I don’t know that at this point we’ll even know the full impact this will have on us,”says Hammerschmidt.
Sicut Enterprises, a London based manufacturer of recycled plastic composite railroad ties, is set to bring their North American manufacturing hub to Neodesha.
“It’s a huge win for Neodesha,” says Hammerschmidt. “It’s putting us on the map.”
Over the next five years as the company expands their operations in Neodesha, there will be 135 jobs brought to the city. The company is already working to renovate the old Neodesha Plastics facility at 1000 Reece Avenue — and hope to be operational this fall. But, there were some fears that the project may not happen. A big piece of the puzzle was the companies need for a rail spur to connect the existing South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad to the back of the building for shipping and receiving.
“We thought we had hit a wall with the rail spur. And not knowing much about that, we assumed the price was, you know, maybe a million dollars or more,” explains Hammerschmidt.
That’s where the Kansas Department of Transportation came in. The city applied for a grant through KDOT’s Economic Development Program. A 343-thousand dollar grant was awarded, contingent on Sicut committing to Neodesha.
“We felt that it was a good project to fund. Especially with the promise of, you know, hopefully 135 jobs in the next five years,” explains Michelle Needham, Economic Development Programs Manager at KDOT.
Watco, which operates the SKOL railroad, will construct the rail spur later this year.
Knowing the company is now fully committed to Neodesha makes Hammerschmidt even more excited about the future of the small town.
“It’s very encouraging the things that we have going on and that we to offer,” says Hammerschmidt. “It’s a great time to be in Neodesha.”
You can find a press release from the Kansas Department of Labor here: https://www.ksdot.org/Assets/wwwksdotorg/District-Four/Sicutrelease.pdf
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