Frac sand mining company receives economic award - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Frac sand mining company receives economic award


Eau Claire (WQOW)- A company is being honored for making a positive economic impact.  Hi-Crush is being given the Paragon Award by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation.

For the first time ever, a frac sand company won the Paragon Award. 

Hi-Crush, which operates in Augusta, received the honor, given annually to a local business that makes a positive economic impact in the Eau Claire area.

"We've created 60 jobs directly on our payroll," says Hi-Crush CEO Bob Rasmus.  "We plan on adding another 10 to 15 jobs in the spring as we expand our operations."

"Anytime you add over 50 jobs in a community of 1,500, the difference will be felt not only at the site of the operation, but on Main Street and even in the residential areas," explains Augusta Mayor Delton Thorson.

"Virtually all of the jobs have been hired within locally and more than 50 percent within a local zip code," Rasmus points out.

"In under a year, they've become our second biggest employer and our second biggest tax payer," reveals Thorson.

Hi-Crush understands mining frac sand has been a controversial topic, so it says it approached the city of Augusta openly.

"Our business model has always been to work with the community.  It was never to come in and say here's what we are going to do," Rasmus says.  "But from the beginning when we saw given the attractive labor pool and the attractive site that was available over in the Augusta area, that we went to the local community leaders and said here's what we would like to do.  Here's what we are thinking of doing.  What concerns do you have?"

"Paragon Award is more than just jobs and investment," explains Brian Doudna with the Eau Claire Area EDC.  "It's about how do you interact with the people and make sure that you are a good neighbor and community citizen."

Last year, another Augusta company won the Paragon Award.  Bush Brothers was honored after making a $33 million expansion and upgrade to its facility.

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