- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - City leaders in Spearfish have approved the construction of a $5.8 million facility to replace a city-owned call center that collapsed during a blizzard last year.

The City Council this week also signed a seven-year lease with Iowa-based TMone to use a portion of the building, which will be funded by insurance money, the Black Hills Pioneer reported (https://bit.ly/10ZNohh ).

TMone has been operating out of the city’s recreation center since the collapse of the call center during last year’s early October storm, which dumped as much as 4 feet of snow on western South Dakota’s Black Hills. No one was in the building when it collapsed, and computer servers were spared.

Rebuilding is important to the city of 10,500 people, said Bryan Walker, executive director of the Spearfish Economic Development Corp.

“Together with their employees, TMone provides over $5 million to the local economy,” he said.

TMone will lease 10,000 square feet of space in the new building, with the other 40,000 square feet available to other businesses.

TMone also has the option to expand beyond 10,000 square feet. The company has about 100 employees in Spearfish - down from more than 200 before the storm - but it has a training class of 16 starting Monday and nearly a dozen job applications came in after news of the renewed lease.

“As a result of (the storm), our employment numbers have dropped in the community and will take time to rebuild,” TMone President Anthony Marlowe said. “The new building will allow TMone the predictability to expand, and we will take on additional space as needed.”

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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