The first of three public hearings was held in the Wright County Courthouse in Clarion this morning asking for the public’s opinion on the proposed Prestage Foods pork processing facility to be located south of Eagle Grove.
Officials of the North Carolina company announced plans to locate the plant in Wright County after leaders in Mason City down the plans to build it there.
The chairman of the Wright County Supervisors Stan Watne says they revealed the development agreement between the county and Prestage Farms at today’s hearing ”This shows about $8 millions of tax relief to the company over 10 years. And then we are also providing tax from the company to support infrastructure and things we need to keep the plant up and going, and we’re offering tax rebates of up to 32 percent. Those are the main elements of it,” Watne says.
He says the agreement is available on the county’s website.
The room was packed with people for the hearing and 47 people spoke.”Of those speakers, two were undecided, nine were against the project, and then 35 were for it,” Watne says. He says representatives of Prestage Farms were on hand for the hearing.
“What we really wanted to do is if people were against it — that’s fine — we were able to say ‘hey here is someone who can answer your questions.’ And that’s what we tried to do and I think it went very well and that people if they had a question, I think we got it answered for them,” Watne says. The plans for the new $240 million plant say it would bring in 900 jobs to the Eagle Grove area.
The second hearing will be held next Monday morning at 9:30 in the Wright County District Courtroom in Clarion.
( By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)