Tyson Foods has released a document to answer questions people may have about a $320 million poultry facility that company officials want to build near Tonganoxie.

Tyson Foods has released a document to answer questions people may have about a $320 million poultry facility that company officials want to build near Tonganoxie.

Since announcing plans for the facility, Tyson Foods officials have faced opposition from area residents.

The company provided a three-page document to officials in the city of Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County governments to help answer frequently asked questions about the project, according to Tyson Foods spokesman Worth Sparkman.

A copy of the document has been posted on the city of Tonganoxie’s website, www.tonganoxie.org

Company officials have said the facility south of Tonganoxie would have a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill. The facility would employee about 1,600 people and be capable of processing 1.25 million chickens per week.

The FAQ document addresses topics such as non-disclosure agreements, concerns about odor from the plant and the potential economic impact of the facility.

Residents opposed to the plant have expressed anger that local government officials signed non-disclosure agreements with Tyson Foods prior to details of the project being made public.

The FAQ document argues that such “agreements are standard operating business practices. As a publicly-traded company, we also use non-disclosure agreements to help prevent potential market rumors and maintain the integrity of non-public information until we are in a position to convey full and accurate information to our shareholders and the investing public.”

In response to concerns about odors from the plant, the document states Tyson Foods’ “plants and feed mills are governed by the requirements of the Clean Air Act. We will work hard to meet environmental regulatory requirements including any regulations related to odor.”

The document also states that environmental stewardship is a “core value of Tyson Foods’ business philosophy and commitment to sustainability.”

Many who are opposed to the proposed plant have pointed to past news reports about Tyson Foods paying millions of dollars in fines for environmental issues.

The FAQ document states that Tyson Foods officials are committed to complying with environmental laws and they “set high standards for managing identified environmental risks.”

According to the FAQ document, hourly wages for employees at the facility would range from $13 to $15 per hour. And some skilled labor jobs would pay more than $20 per hour. There also would be “high paying management jobs,” but the document does not provide a salary range for these positions.

Some of the people who are opposed to the plant have expressed concern that the plant may draw migrant workers. Some have even expressed concern that people who are in the country illegally may end up working at the facility.

The FAQ document from Tyson Foods cites a workforce survey indicating there are 37,000 people within a 30-minute drive from the site of the proposed plant who are looking for jobs that pay between $10 and $15 per hour.

“We expect that many of the jobs created will be filled by people in the Tonganoxie area and by people living in the surrounding communities,” the document states.

Company officials estimate the plant will provide an economic impact to the area of about $150.2 million per year.

Several state lawmakers from the area plan to conduct a citizens forum concerning the proposed Tyson Foods facility. The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Chieftain Park, 206 N. Main St. in Tonganoxie.

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