Tennessee Board Supports Poultry Plant

US - Nash County commissioners in Tennessee approved a resolution of support for a proposed Sanderson Farms chicken processing plant earlier this week after listening to more than a dozen local residents talk for more than an hour about their thoughts and concerns on both sides of the issue.
calendar icon 7 March 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

The board voted 5-2 in favor of the resolution, which states that Nash County is “ready and willing to finalize negotiations regarding potential inducements and incentives” should Sanderson Farms decide to come to the county. Chairman Billy Morgan and Commissioner J. Wayne Outlaw voted against the resolution, reports The Rocky Mount Telegram.

Sanderson Farms is considering building a chicken processing plant in Nash County that would add 1,100 jobs and boost the county’s tax base by about $100 million, county officials said.

Monday’s resolution states that if Sanderson Farms comes to Nash County, the county is willing to negotiate incentives similar to what Sanderson Farms received from Lenoir County when it built a plant in Kinston. Lenoir County and Kinston gave Sanderson Farms property valued at $2 million, as well as annual cash payments of $405,000 a year for 10 years.

Nash County’s incentive package likely would be less because the plant would be smaller, said Nash County Manager Bob Murphy. He said it’s too early to say how much the incentive package might be.

Mr Murphy said county leaders expect the Sanderson Farms plant would draw employees primarily from Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties, which have high unemployment rates.

The proposed chicken plant has been a major source of contention in the county.

Commissioner Robbie Davis said Sanderson Farms has an excellent track record.

Mr Davis said he visited Sanderson Farms plants in Georgia and Kinston on numerous occasions, and he spoke to people associated with at least five other Sanderson Farms plant locations. All of them were pleased with Sandersons’ performance in their area, Mr Davis said.

One opponent said that he would much rather the county invest the money it would use for Sanderson Farms incentives in other areas that would educate local residents for an industry of the future.

Charlotte Johnson

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