South Dakota Call Center Crushed by Snow Looks for Home

October 10, 2013

Spearfish, S.D., town leaders are looking for office space for a business outsourcing firm’s call center whose building collapsed in last weekend’s snowstorm.

Insurance adjustors inspected TMone LLC Tuesday to determine if the $4.2 million structure can be repaired. The city owns the building and leases it to the Spearfish Economic Development Corp., which in turn subleases to the Iowa City, Iowa-based company.

Premiere Bankcard donated the building to the city when it left Spearfish in 2011, said city administrator Joe Neeb.

“We’re trying to determine if there is any value left in the building,” he said. “My gut says it’s in very bad condition. All the roofing support beams warped and then broke. I expect we’re going to have to rebuild.”

Mayor Dana Boke said the immediate concern is finding space for the call center’s 225 employees.

One strong possibility is the 18,000-square-foot Pioneer Room of the Spearfish Recreation Center, said Bryan Walker, executive director of the economic development group.

Walker and Boke said TMone representatives were looking at whether fiber optic lines needed for call center operations could be installed there yet this week.

“This is very, very fast track,” Boke said.

John Burchert, TMone’s co-founder and chief operating officer, said employees will get paid this week. In an internal statement sent out Monday, Burchert said, “due to the current uncertainty of the situation, we will take this week-by-week and keep all of you informed as we go.”

No one was in the building when it collapsed and the computer servers were spared, he said.

Enhanced Recovery Co. LLC of Jacksonville, Fla., said last month it has acquired TMone, which also has operations in Dakota Dunes and Des Moines, Iowa.

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