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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Jerks Elevator License

Grain Elevator
(Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has suspended the licenses of a financially troubled grain elevator in Gregory.

The three-member commission voted unanimously Friday to immediately suspend the grain buyer and grain warehouse licenses of the Gregory Farmers Elevator. The licenses will be revoked permanently in 15 days unless the elevator requests a hearing, but the elevator’s board chairman did not contest the suspension in Friday’s hearing.

Jim Mehlhaff, director of the commission’s Grain Warehouse Division, says the elevator got into trouble because of bad decisions by former elevator managers.   Mehlhaff says the elevator still has a net worth that will allow it to pay the farmers who sold grain to the elevator.

The elevator’s board chairman, Sherman Vomacka says there’s a chance another cooperative will buy the elevator.  In a written filing, the staff says it has been working with the Gregory elevator since August as the company sought to correct financial problems. The staff now says it has determined that the elevator will be unable to obtain sufficient working capital to continue as a going concern.

NEXT: E. COLI OUTBREAK IN S.D.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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