AFTER PANDEMIC ECONOMIC CHALLENGES IN 2020 HURT ITS BOTTOM LINE, PETE’S PLACE WEST IS NOW SEEING MORE CUSTOMERS AND NEW HOPE AS LINE 3 CONSTRUCTION WORKERS ARE RINGING REGISTERS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY
(BEMIDJI, MINN) Bill Schroeder, like many other business owners in Northern Minnesota, had hoped that Line 3 construction would make good on a promise to bring more customers and spending to the area after a very trying 2020. Schroeder, who owns the Pete’s Place West convenience store outside of Bemidji, said the project has more than delivered on its local impact. Pete’s Place West is located on Hwy 2 at the crossroad of Highway 89 and has seen its business almost double since December. After almost two months of work, there are now more than 4,000 people working on the Line 3 Replacement project across the 14-county route.
“As hard as last year was to get through, what we are seeing now because of Line 3 is beyond remarkable,” said Bill Schroeder, owner of Pete’s Place West. “There are more customers here every day buying gas, supplies, and other things they need before and after they go to or from the construction site. Seeing things change so much for the better has helped us and energized our community. We cannot immediately replace what was lost last year but Line 3 is making a major difference and we just hope nothing happens now to stop the work.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to make a decision on a request from Line 3 opponents to enact a stay that would stop construction until other lawsuits challenging the project’s approval can be heard. The Line 3 process started in 2014 during the Obama-Biden Administration. Enbridge submitted their application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2015 to replace Line 3 as part of the company’s integrity and maintenance driven program. The Line 3 project is now the most reviewed pipeline project in Minnesota history and has been reviewed by state and federal agencies and regulators for almost six years.
For Pete’s Place West, Line 3 Construction has brought so many new customers that store employees now able to work more hours. The store has expanded products they sell to include more ready-to-go foods to better fill the needs of construction workers. Sales have dramatically increased across all areas including gasoline, propane, vehicle additives for cold weather, and miscellaneous items like winter gloves, hats, newspapers, beverages, postcards, etc.
“We have been able to transition from wondering how we can survive last year to now looking at more ways to serve all the workers and their families,” Schroeder said. “The Line 3 project is clearly delivering the economic impact it promised to the communities along the route and beyond. Hotels and rental business are busy, and communities are seeing positive energy at a time when we really needed it. Construction jobs are important but the lives of people who work for me are better because of what Line 3 is bringing to Minnesota. After so many years of review we are hopeful the courts will respect that and not let this project be stopped.”
Final project permits were issued December 1st and crews have now completed about 1/3rd of the work to build the new 337-mile-long line. Workers are on the job across all 14-counties doing the initial phase of construction of the $2.6 billion project. When Line 3 construction is fully operational, more than 4,000 union members will work to replace the remaining Minnesota section.
Beyond the direct impact of construction work, Line 3 also creates additional positive economic impacts to local communities. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics study estimated that that Line 3 will support 2,800 retail/hospitality sector jobs and 1,600 local supplier/manufacturer jobs. The study also shows indirect positive economic impacts will include more than $160 million in non-local worker spending on meals, lodging, and incidentals while working in the study area.
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617