A Railroad with Relevance

Lapeer Grain Under Seizure

Written By: Alan - Nov• 08•14

Well, dagnabbit. Lapeer Grain can’t seem to pay their bills. The grain facility is one of my key Layout Design Elements (LDE). Looks like I had better rustle up all the photos I need. Who knows, it may be soon owned by someone else and no longer called Lapeer Grain. Or I may end up modeling a shuttered grain facility! That would be different. Covered grain hoppers with no place to go on my layout. Naw, that doesn’t sound fun. I’ll stick with the pre-financially distressed Lapeer Grain. After all, my layout is set in 1969. Let’s say business was booming then for Lapeer Grain.

from Tri-City Times Nov 5, 2014

IMLAY CITY — Ag producers are invited to attend an informational meeting regarding the status of Lapeer Grain slated for Monday, November 10th from 4-6 p.m. The meeting, hosted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, will take place at the Lapeer Township Hall, 1500 Morris Road, Lapeer Twp. MDA Communications Director Jennifer Holton says Lapeer Grain’s ability to accept produce at its locations in Imlay City, Kapeer, Capac, Jeddo and Palms has been suspended based on the elevator’s inability to pay producers within the time requirement outlined in the grain dealers act, PA 141 of 1939 as amended.

“What that means is Lapeer Grain is prohibited from receiving produce from producers while the summary suspension is in place,” Holton says. Seizure notices have been posted on all five of Lapeer Grain’s locations, Holton adds, and the MDA is still collecting information.

Agents began looking into the situation after receiving a call from a local farmer, Holton says. “The producer called after Lapeer Grain posted a notice on their facility that producers would not be able to receive payment (for their grain) until they (Lapeer Grain) received payment,” she says. The call to MDA came in on October 23. The investigation began October 24; and the summary suspension was issued Saturday, November 1. Holton says Lapeer Grain is one of 20 “larger grain dealers” in the state; with a little more than 220 licensed dealers across Michigan.

Though the summary suspension is in place, the company continues to operate, Holton adds. “Lapeer Grain cannot receive farm produce, but it can continue to fill contracts with their remaining grain under the oversight of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,” she says. The suspension comes amidst weeks of rumors surrounding the financial situation at the longtime area grain elevator. Lapeer Grain -Imlay City manager Todd Butterfield last week said he was unaware of any problem or situation that was affecting the company’s financial status. Butterfield said he didn’t handle that end of the business, and referred inquiries to the Lapeer location.

Messages left on Monday for managers at Lapeer and Imlay City locations of Lapeer Grain went unanswered by press time.

Lapeer Grain photos by Charlie Whipp

lapeer grain 2



Lapeer Grain satellite view:



Lapeer Grain track:



Lapeer Grain on the layout:



As you can see I added a couple of spurs. The lumber company beside Lapeer Grain doesn’t get rail service in real life but it does on my layout. The other addition is for Masco. The plant is actually well down the spur but I didn’t have space for the full length so I moved the Masco plant closer to Lapeer Grain.






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  1. matt brower says:

    that was not the original lapeer grain.It was west of the depot across from the small grandfather used to run it for Mr. Butterfield and i would help with the loading and unloading of train cars as a kid the lapeer grain used to be the lapeer co-op and servedby the penn central till they ceased operation and gtw took over.

  2. alan says:

    Fascinating. I have been a Lapeer resident for only ten years. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about Lapeer Grain during the time period of my railroad – 1969. I am modeling it as it is today. Would love to hear more. I’ll respond to your email.

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