Our Town Diller

For a town of around 260 people, main street in Diller is doing extremely well.

"We are attracting people. We've got enough employees in this town, that there are in the neighborhood of 300 paychecks being written out of this town," Lottman Concrete Construction owner Doug Lottman said. Lottman's business is one of many that thrive in Diller.

"We have C & C processing, they do private label processing," Diller Community Club member Chris Clifford said. "There's the Diller Locker, they are a meat processor in town. There's Diller Telephone Company. We have our own telephone system and technology company called Diode Technologies."

Many of the companies are family-owned and operated, which may explain some of the success. "A lot of them were started by people from Diller," Clifford said. "They grew up in Diller, and have lived in Diller their whole lives. So, I think they've taken the initiative to start a business, and they wanted to do that. They've stayed in town and kept the town thriving."

Lottman says Roelfs Trucking is one example of that. "They are 4th generation. The telephone comany, Diller Telephone and Diode Technologies, is 3rd or 4th generation. I'm the 4th generation in our family, and my kids are all in business here." Lottman says one of his sons runs a construction business, and another runs C & C Processing. "Chad and Courtney have about 135 employees and they make packaged bars for general foods," Lottman said. His daughter Shelly is a co-owner of Diller Locker which does custom meat processing. She and her husband Jesse are proud to be on main street. "Seeing the opportunity here in Diller for my husband and I to open a business, it generated that excitement between the two of us," Smith said. "We wanted to come back to where I was raised. It was something we found that we could do."

The Diller-Odell public school system plays a big role in keeping the area vibrant. Fitness centers are now operated by the school in both Diller and Odell. The idea started first in Odell, and was created to help student athletes, but the centers are now used by everyone. "We offer memberships to the community," Diller-Odell Public Schools Superintendent Mike Meyerle said. "They are very affordable, $50 for a single or $80 for a family for a year. One year after we started this in Odell, we decided to be a good partner with Diller, so we put one up in Diller."

Along with the fitness center, Diller features a day care, the opera house for gatherings, and plenty of other unique features. One feature Diller could use, is more housing. "There's a group that's trying to come up with ways to promote housing. There's a tri-plex being built right now in town," Lottman said. Town leaders say there's always room for more growth. "We've got room for more business. We need a mechanic in town, we need a body shop in town, we need a plumber in town, and I think we are not only holding our own. I think the next census will show that we've probably grown 8 to 10 percent," Lottman said.