RED RIVER AG STORE IS NOW OPENING EARLY, EXPANDING THE PRODUCTS IT SELLS, AND CREATING MORE CHANCES FOR EMPLOYEES TO WORK TO SERVE CUSTOMERS
(PLUMMER, MINN) In 2020 the Red River Ag store in Plummer saw sales, traffic and inventory decline because of the impact of COVID on the local economy but now the store is experiencing a positive change because of the Line 3 Replacement project. Store owner Alex Yaggie said that since Line 3 work started in December, he has expanded hours, offered his employees more chances to work, and increased the number of items to serve construction customers. There are now more than 5,000 people working in 14 counties across Minnesota to replace the Line 3 pipeline.
“It’s fantastic to see the dramatic change at our store and across our entire community,” Alex Yaggie said. “Last year we were looking at what we would need to do to survive what had been a very hard year. Now we are looking at how much more we can do to serve our new customers because our sales increase is fluctuating between 25 and 50%. This came at the right time for us and will help our bottom line long into the future. It’s even better now that we know the Minnesota courts decided to not stop the project.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals this week denied requests from Line 3 opponents to grant a stay that would have stopped construction until other lawsuits challenging the project’s approval are resolved. 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.
Final project permits were issued December 1st and crews now have completed more than 1/3rd of the work to replace the new $2.6 billion, 337-mile-long line. Beyond the direct impact from construction worker salaries, Line 3 has also created significant positive economic impacts for Plummer and other 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.
The Red River Ag store is located on US Hwy 59 in Plummer and sits approximately ½ mile west of the Line 3 pumping station. The company purchased the convenient store in 2017 and began making upgrades that were focused on store products & goods. They then worked on the exterior of the building where canopies were added, new gas pumps installed, and exterior painting took place.
“We bought the business because we wanted to invest in the community,” Yaggie said. “This is a great community, and we love seeing the positive impact from Line 3 construction. There is excitement and activity that is great and uplifting, considering what 2020 was like. The pipeline workers are very respectful and are happy to be able to get to work. We are all very thankful for the opportunity Line 3 is bringing and that things are finally getting better.”
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617