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3/15/2016 11:40:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Minnesota Town Hit by News of Polar Tank Trailer Closing Manufacturing Plant

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HOLDINGFORD, Minn. — Mild shock waves can be felt throughout a central Minnesota community as it prepares to lose a major manufacturing facility.

St. Cloud-based Polar Tank Trailer is ceasing operations at Holdingford facility within the next month and a half. Employees were notified of the decision March 3.

Polar Tank Trailer manufactures stainless steel trailers used to haul dry and liquid bulk freight. Its products were in high demand when oil production was booming in North Dakota.

Fourteen of the 24 Holdingford employees will join the 460 employees at Polar's Opole facility. The other 10 employees will be laid off.

The plant closure worries Kevin Headly, owner of Headly's Hardware Hank in Holdingford, population 704.

"I saw a lot of business from that facility," Headly said. "There will definitely be a trickle-down effect for the community."

Headly said he remembers just last year production at the Holdingford facility was up dramatically. They were running three shifts, he said.

"But we've seen those numbers cut," Headly said.

A couple of blocks down, Holdingford Gas and Grocery also has noticed a dip in business from some of the regular Polar Tank customers.

"We feel it especially because obviously they frequent our store," owner Drew Neupert said.

Holdingford Gas and Grocery employee Bernice Ebnet said Polar workers come in for gas, snacks and lunch on a regular basis.

"You can really tell [here] when they are not working," she said.

Neupert said he and his employees have come to know a lot of the people working at the Holdingford plant and appreciated their business over the years.

"[Polar Tank closing] is not like a deal breaker," Neupert said. "But it definitely can be felt in the community."

For Holdingford mayor Sue Marstein, the plant's closure affects not only her city, but her family as well.

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By Vicki Ikeogu
St. Cloud (Minn.) Times


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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