PAXTON — A trucking company has decided to close its shipping terminal in Paxton.
LeFebvre Companies Inc., based in Elk River, Minn., will close its terminal at 1065 W. Ottawa Road by the end of March, according to owner and President Paul LeFebvre.
LeFebvre said the closure is directly linked to the loss of the terminal's main customer, High Concrete Group LLC.
High Concrete — a producer of precast concrete structures — closed its plant in Paxton in January 2009.
"When High Concrete left, that was our major customer; that was what brought us" to Paxton, LeFebvre said. "We tried hanging on, thinking they were coming back, but it just didn't appear like it would happen, so we didn't have any choice.
"It's just a sign of the times. If High Concrete was still there, we'd still be there going as strong as they were."
LeFebvre said the Paxton terminal is the only one among seven his company operates in the Midwest that is being closed. The company specializes in the transportation and delivery of precast concrete products and other dimensional freight throughout the Midwest.
The terminal currently employs five truck drivers, all of whom will be laid off. During its peak, LeFebvre said, the operation employed about 10 people.
Mike Nuckols, who has worked at the terminal for 13 years, said it will be tough to lose his job, but he understands that it is a "business decision."
"Hopefully, something comes in" to replace it, Nuckols said.
The LeFebvre Trucking building is in Paxton's newly implemented tax-increment-financing district. Mayor Bill Ingold said he has already had discussions with undisclosed persons about filling the void.
"We'll do what we can to try to get another tenant in that building," Ingold said.
Ingold said he was disappointed to learn of the terminal's fate.
"You certainly hate to lose any business," Ingold said. "They've been very, very good neighbors to the city of Paxton. They employed people, so we hate to lose them. I understand, though, how business works."
LeFebvre has been in operation since 1928, when Noel LeFebvre — Paul's grandfather — started the company for the transportation of livestock and milk from the Elk River area, about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis. As his sons got older, all four — Leon, Gene, Eddie and John — became involved in the operation. In 1961, LeFebvre & Sons Inc. was formed and incorporated.