By Ross Markman
The prospect of a frozen food distribution center moving from Blaine County to Hill County remains unknown.
Since January, Havre Mayor Bob Rice has been working to bring Schwan's Corp., a home delivery supplier of more than 300 frozen foods and desserts, to Hill County. The Minnesota-based corporation, Rice said in April, was considering building a new warehouse on a parcel behind the U.S. Department of Agriculture building west of Havre.
Rice said today that he hasn't spoken with Schwan's since last month.
"I haven't heard anything more about them coming to Havre," he said.
What the mayor has heard, however, is that efforts are under way to keep Schwan's in Blaine County.
"I heard they're trying to raise $20,000 to move somewhere else in Chinook," Rice said.
Chinook Mayor Bill Oehmcke refused to discuss details of the town's attempt to keep the distribution center within its boundaries. Representatives of Schwan's were unavailable for comment.
"We're negotiating with them," Oehmcke said. "It hasn't been decided where."
The one-plus-acre tract behind the USDA facility is owned by Havre-based Tom Patrick Construction. The deal, Rice said in April, was for about $25,000.
In addition, Rice reported last month that a group of 10 to 12 Havre businesses were assisting with negotiations, laying down the groundwork for the potential move.
The move, Rice said, would benefit the people and the economy of Havre.
Schwan's, however, has not committed to anything with Tom Patrick Construction, owner Tom Patrick said.
"I have not heard from them in a month," he said. "I don't have a clue what's going on."