News & Events

Great Plains takes step closer to trade zone

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, April 21, 2021
OSWEGO -- The Sedgwick County Commission on Wednesday authorized an application to be sent to the federal government for operation of a foreign trade zone at Great Plains Industrial Park east of Parsons.

Watco of Pittsburg submitted the application to the commission in Wichita. The U.S. International Trade Office will receive the application and place it on the docket of the Foreign Trade Zone board, which will decide if the subzone can operate at the industrial park. The subzone would give businesses a place to store products free of the tariffs or quotas applied to foreign goods coming into the country. (Read More) 

D&Z signs new contract with Australia

Parsons Sun, April 12, 2021
Day & Zimmermann of Parsons has landed another contract.

D&Z, the century-old, family-owned provider of construction and engineering, staffing and defense solutions for corporations and governments around the world, announced in a press release that it has agreed to a new threee-year memorandum of understanding with NIOA to create ammunition in support of the Australian Defense Force. (Read More)

Reams: Great Plains is among world's largest industrial parks

Parsons Sun, December 14, 2020
OSWEGO -- Great Plains Industrial Park staff hopes to get the park recognized in many different places, most for economic opportunities that would bring jobs to Southeast Kansas.

Brad Reams, Great Plains director, and Bob Wood, Great Plains board member, visited with Labette County commissioners Monday about the park as part of the monthly update on activities. During the update, Reams discussed some of the research he conducted last week into the largest industrial parks in the nation.

"We didn't show up on any of those lists," Reams said. He sent comments to people creating those lists. (Read More)

Great Plains: One step leads to the next

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, December 10, 2020
Growth at the Great Plains Industrial Park (GPIP) is happening, step-by-step, with each step building upon the last and new leads being generated as the park's network grows.

GPIP director Brad Reams said they are starting a new round working on lead generation programs with some companies.

"We've actually put in for 14 different opportunities in the last two weeks," he said. "We'll see how that goes. We have some more coming in December that we'll apply for. What we're trying to do is be as efficient as possible with our blended marketing budget and limited staff. We're not able to go out nationwide and beat the pavement as much as we would like to. We  have to be pretty savvy on social try to attract interest. This is going to be a tool we have that already has leads built up, so we did some financial investments to be able to access that now. We'll be able to take those leads that are national, and sometimes international, and say here is what we have to offer at Great Plains." (Read More)

Great Plains board, staff look to future as park activity increases

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, December 10, 2020
Great Plains Industrial Park property manager Tim Peoples looked out the office window at all of the activity, smiled and expressed the happiness everyone working there is feeling.

Trains were unloaded. Semi trucks were loaded and traveled out of the park. Semi trucks from out of state were headed into the park with items to be stored in leased buildings. General traffic moved up and down the roads, and a company worked on replacing an older asphalt road with concrete to manage the heavy traffic.

"It's a fun experience," GPIP director Brad Reams said. "Things have started to pick up speed. Cold calls become tenants and it's certainly fun." (Read More)

Khol Co. lands in Great Plains

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, October 28, 2020
The Great Plains Industrial Park has welcomed another new tenant, the Khol Co. 

Khol Co. owner Tom Barber said the company mines for silica sand in Mankato, Minnesota.

It is a full logistical company that can do last mile solutions as well as provide quality sand for oil and gas, railroad, foundty and glass interests. The company moves about 5 million tons of silica sand a year. 

Silica sand is a quartz that has been broken down into tiny particles over time. It's also called industrial sand, and it has high purity and its size is controlled to provide a precise product to meet specific customer needs. (Read More)

Great Plains seeks trade zone status

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, October 20, 2020
OSWEGO -- The Great Plains Industrial Park is seeking a foreign trade zone designation that could open opportunities for jobs and tenants in the park. 

Brad Reams, park director, updated Labette County commissioners on the trade zone process on Monday. Greater Kansas City Foreign Trade Zone, Inc., which operates FTZs on both sides of the state line in the metropolitan area, is helping Great Plains with the process. The company helped Bagcraft Packaging in Baxter Springs receive the designation, Reams said. If the Great Plains application is received at the international trade office by the end of  the month, the FTZ designation could come as soon as Feb. 1, Reams said. (Read More)

Ammunition for Growth: How a former military facility transformed into a rail-served transportation hub

Today, the Great Plains Industrial Park, a former ammunition plant is lowering costs for shippers, spurring economic growth and supporting environmentally friendly power. 

Union Pacific Track Record, July 27, 2020
In 1942, the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant was established near Parsons, Kansas. During World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf Wars, the plant produced a variety of ammunition, from basic artillery and mortar shells to more sophisticated munitions. The plant was closed in 2005 and officially deactivated in 2009.

What would the federal government do with the 13,951 acres of land? It took several years to answer that question. Requirements were established stating the land couldn't be turned over to a private developer - it must be turned over to a local development authority. That's when the Great Plains Development Authority stepped in.

In 2012, the federal government officially handed over the land, and today it has been redeveloped into the Great Plains Industrial Park, 6,800 acres of which are owned by the Great Plains Development Authority. In addition to reclaiming unused land, this rail-served industrial park has become a transportation hub that is lowering costs for shippers, spurring economic growth, and supporting environmentally friendly power. This is the story of how they did it. (Read More)

Great Plains hopes to improve road in park

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, July 27, 2020
OSWEGO -- Great Plains Industrial Park representatives on Monday said they are seeking grants and engineering work to improve 22000 Road in the park's footprint.

Great Plains representatives Brad Reams, park director, and Tim Peoples, property manager, visited with Labette County commissioners Monday morning. These updates normally come once a month but have been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peoples said Great Plains wants to work on 22000 Road because of increased truck traffic. Transportation Partners & Logistics (TP&L) has a laydown yard to receive and store wind industry components at Great Plains. The company transports these parts to wind energy projects within a few hundred miles. (Read More) 

Great Plains working with several firms

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, May 26, 2020
Within the footprint of the Great Plains Industrial Park, Matrix Design Group, Progress Rail Services, Red Bull Distribution Co., Taylor Crane & Rigging and TP&L Management Solutions currently operate near Day & Zimmermann, and more growth is forthcoming.

Last week, park director Brad Reams spoke to the board about several potential projects he and his team are working on bringing to Great Plains, moving ever closer to the park serving as an economic development hub for Labette County and Southeast Kansas. (Read More)

Laydown yard gains steam as turbine parts are delivered

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, May 21, 2020
The Great Plains Development Authority board received an update Thursday regarding property in the Great Plains Industrial Park. 
Property manager Tim Peoples spoke about Transportation Partners & Logistics, the company that located within Great Plains last year. TP&L transports wind industry components from the manufacturers to a point of storage for the wind energy companies building power installations within a few hundred miles.

Peoples reported TP&L has completed its east laydown yard for blade staging. (Read More)

Park's rail service holds up

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, March 17, 2020
OSWEGO -- Labette County commissioners on Monday received a brief update on Great Plains Industrial Park, focusing on its rail service.

Tim Peoples, Great Plains property manager, and Brad Reams, Great Plains director, met with commissioners.

Peoples said the newly refurbished rail in the park has had three trains on it delivering wind turbine parts to TP&L's storage yard at Great Plains. The compay stores and maintains the parts before they are shipped to wind farm developments for assembly. Nacelles were recently brought into the yard. (Read More)

Board hears Great Plains, wind panel updates

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, February 24, 2020
OSWEGO -- Labette County commissioners on Monday heard an update on last week's ceremony at Great Plains Industrial Park that recognized rail traffic returning to the park for its newest tenant. 

TP&L is ammassing wind turbine parts on its leased land at Great Plains. The parts come in on the newly improved rail system and will exit next month and later on trucks bound for wind farm construction projects in Missouri. Eventually, wind turbine parts will go to Neosho Ridge Wind project in Neosho County as well.

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz and Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland attended the ceremony last week. (Read More)

THROWING THE SWITCH: Lorenz, Toland hope railroad work, TP&L to spark Great Plains

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, February 21, 2020
State officials were on hand Thursday in Parsons to help celebrate the opening of Great Plains Industrial Park's railroad to the first loaded rail car in 50 years. 

Transportation Partners & Logistics (TP&L) President Jim Orr, Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz, Great Plains Development Authority Vice Chairman Gary Beachner and Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland threw the ceremonial rail switch Thursday inside a tent on TP&L's leased site.

TP&L provides transportation and logistics services to companies. The company has 11 locations and owns and operates the largest wind component distribution center in North America in Garden City. In late December, the company announced it would be creating a new site within the Great Plains Industrial Park, thanks to a $1.64 million grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation for the rehabilitation and replacement of rails within Great Plains. (Read More)

State officials celebrate Parsons industrial park partnership

Jonathan Riley:, The Morning Sun, February 20, 2020
PARSONS -- State Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz and Secretary of Commerce David Toland visited southeast Kansas Thursday for a ribbon cutting and ceremonial throwing of a switch to mark the arrival of the first loaded train cars at the Great Plains Industrial Park in more than 40 years.

"As a southeast Kansan it really is a terrific day to come home and to celebrate this first domino that's falling at Great Plains Industrial Park," Toland said. We're getting this win and it's the first of many that are going to come here."

Toland recalled meeting with some people from Parsons during a trip to Atlanta when he was working in Washington, DC several years ago. (Read More) 

Great Plains Industrial Park receives first loaded train cars in over 40 years

Deja Bickham:, KSN, February 20, 2020
State leaders were in Southeast Kansas today to celebrate the arrial of the first loaded train cars at the Great Plains Industrial Park in more than 40 years. 

Brad Reams, Park Director, said "Great Plains has a great story and we're adding another chapter."

Parsons was the place to be Thursday as state leaders visited Great Plains Industrial Park for a ribbon cutting and throwing of the switch.

"This chapter is bringing the rail up to the condition to where it can handle weighted loads and specifically starting with wind components and that will cascade into other economic development opportunities." (Read More)

SHOT Show provides industry leads for Great Plains

Jamie Willey:, Parsons Sun, February 19, 2020
A trip to a firearms and ammunition industry trade show has led to a couple of leads for the Great Plains Industrial Park.

Jim Zaleski, the city's economic development director, reported to city commissioners on Monday about his recent visit to the SHOT Show. The show organized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation is the largest gathering of the world's firearms and ammunition manufacturers.

Zaleski said he left the show with information from three businesses that are potentially interested in locating at Great Plains Industrial Park. Two are manufacturers and the other is interested in storage space. Zaleski said he would pass on the leads to Great Plains. He also received three "blind" leads. Those are businesses seeking information that are unwilling to give their company's names. (Read More)

Activity picks up at Great Plains

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, January 28, 2020
OSWEGO -- Activity and interest at Great Plains Industrial Park is growing and a utility has agreed to bring natural gas lines to fringe areas of the park if prospects agree to move into the park, Labette County commissioners heard Monday.

Brad Reams, Great Plains park director, and Tim Peoples, property manager, discussed the park with commissioners. 

Peoples said the $1.8 million railroad improvement project is nearly complete and the railroad will be inspected on Monday. The first shipments of wind turbine parts are expected to arrive by rail on Feb. 10 for storage at the park. The company storing the materials will then ship them out by truck to wind farm sites. (Read More)

TP&L to distribute wind turbine components from Great Plains

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, December 21, 2019
A small group of people with a vision for economic development in Labette County are finding success stories one step at a time.

Great Plains Industrial Park was developed in the aftermath of the former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant closing in 2005. The vision has been to add industry and jobs in the park acreage east of Parsons.  Park officials hope a new transloading business will spark park interest.

On Thursday, a Great Plains Industrial Park official announced that the park will be home to Transportation Partners & Logistics' newest location. (Read More)

County commissioners get rail project update

Ray Nolting:, Parsons Sun, December 16, 2019
OSWEGO -- Representatives of Great Plains Industrial Park updated Labette County commissioners on Monday on a railroad rehabilitation project going on in the park. 

Great Plains received $1.64 million from Kansas Department of Transportation to rework 75% of the 30 miles of the north to south rail going through the park, including the addition of heavier continuous rail on the south end that could accomodate engines. The short rail rehabilitation project is geared toward a prospective tenant for the park in early 2020 that would use rail service. But it also may open doors for other tenants who need rail to service their businesses, Great Plains Director Brad Reams told commissioners. (Read More)

KDOT grant to rebuild Great Plains rail system

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, December 13, 2019
The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded $1.64 million to Great Plains Industrial Park near Parsons for rehabilitation of a large portion of its rail system.

Much of the park's 30 miles of rail and two railroad bridges will be the focus of the project, providing needed enhancements for prospective tenants.

"We know transportation helps drive the Kansas economy. KDOT regualrly partners with communities to improve regional economies and we are proud to announce our newest economic development project with Great Plains Industrial Park," KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz said. (Read More) 
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