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LETTER: One man's impact on Dakota Southern

(metro creative)

To the Editor:

Adding to the praise Bryan Hisel, retiring executive director of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, has received, his role in locating Graphic Packing alongside Dakota Southern Railway's truck at Ohlman Street was critical to the railroad's survival.

After changes in grain shipping patterns, favoring large elevators such as CHS in Mitchell with lower freight rates in 1995, Dakota Southern was reduced to switching Graphic Packaging. Without Graphic Packaging, Dakota Southern would have gone out of business.

Subsequent to the 2005 sale of the state-owned, ex-MILW Road lines, east, north and south of Mitchell to the BNSF Railroad and the granting of access to the other major western railroads so Dakota Southern had competitive connections, substantial development occurred on the state-owned rail line west of Mitchell. Without an active railroad, the elevators able to load 110 car trains in less than 10 hours at Kimball and Kennebec, plus a third one under construction at Presho would not have been built at a total cost in excess of $100,000,000.

None of this would have happened it it weren't for Bryan Hisel. Quoting the late Paul Harvey, "and now, you know the rest of the story."

Alex Huff

Past co-owner

Dakota Southern Railway