The Audubon Fire and Rescue Association received a generous donation this month,
thanks to Landus Cooperative. During their September meeting, the Board of
Directors for Landus Cooperative unanimously voted to donate the office building and
land, which once housed the Audubon location, to the group.
Alicia Heun, Director of Communications for the cooperative said, “There are still lots
of steps to be taken on each side, ours and the Fire Department’s and we will get
those ironed out, but we are very pleased to be able to make this donation happen.”
During the unofficial “passing of the keys” Heun, along with several other
representatives from Landus Cooperative met with a few of the Audubon firemen and
the officers of the Association for a tour of the facility and to talk about the donation
of the building and future plans.
Heun explained, “When it was announced that we would be closing the Audubon
location, we were contacted, almost immediately by the fire department, to see what
the possibilities would be in purchasing the property. In talking it over, it was decided
that we would be able to donate the building and parcel instead.”
Built in 1940, the 280’x125’ building sits on 0.8 acres of land and is assessed at
$230,000. It is located just south of the current fire station.
Heun said the announcement of the donation came at the perfect time, as Fire
Prevention Week and Cooperative Month are both celebrated in October.
“I think this donation is a way for us to show that we all need to work together to help
each other, just like the Exira, Hamlin and Templeton facilities are helping take care of
the customers affected by the closing of the Audubon location,” she stated.
Daniel Heller, Landus Cooperative Board Member from Irwin added, “Since we pulled
out of Audubon, we’re all aware that there are some hard feelings. We hope that this
can show that we, as a Cooperative still very much support the Audubon community.”
Tyler Thygesen, Chief of the Audubon Fire Department said, “I can’t tell you how
thankful we are. It’s bittersweet, as we hated to see the business close, but we really
appreciate your generosity.”
Talk of a new fire station in Audubon has been bubbling for the last few years, as the
current station is quickly filling up. This land donation may help facilitate that, but not
“We are very tight in the current station. “ Thygesen said. “We currently have some of
our vehicles and equipment stored off site and as with everything else in the world,
equipment and trucks keep getting bigger. We would love to build a new department
down the road, but acquiring the Landus Cooperative Building gives us a lot more
space and options.”
The Department has no plans to raze the Landus Cooperative building or to start a
construction project anytime soon.
Thygesen noted, “We plan to keep the building in tact and use it for training and
Fireman Dave Witt added, “We can do a lot of training in the different spaces here in
the building. Currently, when we do bin rescue training and high angle training, we
are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We would be able to do both of those exercise,
right here, on site, no matter the weather.”
The Association will now work with the City of Audubon to come up with a plan of
action for use of the current station and property and any future building plans.
Landus Cooperative announced in June that they would be closing their Audubon
location as part of a multi-year consolidation initiative. Changes were also made in
their Exira location, as grain assets in Exira will be closing as of Jan. 1, 2018.
Heun stated, “Grain assets in Audubon had been closed for a few years and bagged
feed and agronomy services for the Audubon customers have been transitioned to
other locations. We still have a very strong presence in Audubon County, as we have
the new Hamlin facility and our agronomy business in Exira will remain open year-
round offering full-service agronomy for area farmers including seed, crop protection,
crop nutrients and precision products and services.”
As for the rest of the Landus Cooperative property in Audubon, Heun said the
cooperative had not yet determined a plan for disbursement.
Source: Used with permission from the Audubon Co. Advocate Journal