Genereux: It’ll be company’s first permanent hub for vehicle service and maintenance

    Centrol Crop Consulting is in the process of constructing facilities in Crookston’s industrial park that will serve as a first-of-its-kind service and maintenance hub for its fleet of vehicles.

    The company recently purchased two parcels of land totaling approximately 3.5 acres between B & E Meats and Grove Mechanical. The land was owned by Crookston Jobs, Inc., which dissolved earlier this year and transferred its assets to the Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority. Two buildings are being constructed.

    In a closed session in July, the CHEDA Board discussed the transaction, and the company has been ironing out the details since.

    One of the buildings includes a concrete slab, floor heat, offices and restroom facilities, CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth previously told his board. The other building will be more “cold storage” in nature.

    “They buy something like 40 pickups a year and they need service and equipment,” Hoiseth said. “It’s a pretty substantial building.”

    Size estimates discussed over the summer had one building 150 by 70 feet in size and the other 120 by 50 feet in size.

    Twin Valley, Minnesota-based Centrol is employee-owned, explained Dave Genereux of Crookston, one of the company’s 35 consultants. Genereux served on a task force that forged ahead on the expansion project into Crookston, along with Mike Kasowski, Robbie Hulst and Paul Metzger. The company’s reach extends from the Canadian border in the north into South Dakota, and from Bismarck, North Dakota to the west, east into Minnesota “until you start to hit the forest,” Genereux explained.

    In addition to crop consultants like Genereux, Centrol employs 10 to 20 ag technicians, depending on the time of the year, and around 50 additional part-time staff members. The expansion in Crookston is the first of its kind for the company, he explained.

    “Our territory is so vast, we need to have an area to work on our vehicles,” he said. “We have a lot of specialized set-up necessary for soil sampling and things like that. We need this building.

    “We buy a lot of our vehicles from the local area, so this is a good fit,” Genereux added.

    The goal was to have the new facilities finished and operational by now, but he said the goal remains to finish this fall.

    The company had been renting a space for its vehicle-related needs between Crookston and Fisher. “But we wanted something more permanent,” Genereux said.

    It’s possible that more service technicians could be hired in the future as part of the new Crookston facilities, but Genereux said the plan for now is to have three or four technicians working at the Crookston location.