McMinnville Electric System is beginning what is expected to be a five-year process of building a new operations center on Old Smithville Highway.
When complete, the facility will replace the current operations center which operates at the old Willmore Ford property downtown. MES headquarters at 200 Morford Street will remain operational and will not be impacted by the new facility.
“We want to move our operations center out of the old Willmore Ford building,” said MES general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd. “The new operations center will have room for our pole yard, truck parking, and it will give us more space. If you’ve ever been to our operations center, you know we’re pretty cramped for space.”
MES bought the old Willmore Ford property on the corner of West Main Street and South High Street in 1999. When the new facility it complete, Boyd says that property will be put up for auction. MES will also be able to sell its pole yard, located next to the fairgrounds, when the new operations center is constructed.
But that’s sure to be years down the road because preliminary drawings haven’t even been rendered for the new operations center. Boyd said he will seek feedback from all MES employees in determining the best design.
“We’re looking at it as a five-year plan,” said Boyd. “It’s a good piece of property. We’ve had it for two or three years, since before COVID hit. We’ve been cleaning it up a little bit here and there. It had an old house and an old barn on it.”
The 13 acres is located on Old Smithville Highway not far from McMinnville Fire Station 2.