Monsanto plans to build a new multimillion dollar seed corn production plant in northeast Iowa, but the location won’t be in Black Hawk County. Company officials announced Monday that Monsanto is no longer pursuing plans to build the 90-million dollar facility south of Waterloo.
Darrin Wallis a spokesman for the St. Louis-based company says: "There’s no real single reason. There are a number of things that came up during the due diligence process that made us doubt whether we could meet our timelines we’d established. Because of that, we needed to make a tough decision and begin to look elsewhere in northeast Iowa."
The decision by Monsanto came shortly before the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors were scheduled to vote on a zoning change for the proposed plant. Last week, county zoning officials voted against Monsanto’s rezoning request after nearby residents voiced objections to the project. Wallis says the company, which wants the plant up and running next year, was facing too many hurdles in Black Hawk County to keep the project on schedule.
"The number of things that we need to do in terms of soil testing and all the other things that are required to get a plant of this up and functional require a lot of time and effort," Wallis said. "To be able to do that and keep it moving forward…we needed to begin looking in other places." While Black Hawk County is no longer under consideration for the plant, Monsanto still plans to build the new facility in northeast Iowa.
Wallis says the company will consider completely new locations and take another look at locations that were considered before the selection of the site near Waterloo. Monsanto is hoping to find a site covering roughly 150 acres with access to roads and other infrastructure. The facility is part of an overall 230 million dollar investment the company is making in the state. Monsanto recently expanded it’s facilities in Grinnell and Boone. Monsanto plans to hire about 40 full-time employees for the new plant, once it’s complete.