No action taken
The director of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation no longer considers a proposal for building a poultry plant near Tonganoxie to be active.
But a person who has opposed the project still requested that members of the LCDC Board of Directors rescind their support for the Tyson Foods facility.
The request came Thursday during a monthly meeting of the LCDC board. The board took no action to rescind its earlier support for the project.
Linda Sturgeon attended the meeting as a member of the public. She said the human factor cannot be included in a cost-benefit analysis for a project such as the poultry plant that had been proposed for Leavenworth County.
She asked board members to rescind their earlier support for the plant and keep the human factor in mind when they move forward with other projects.
On Sept. 5, officials with Tyson Foods announced plans to build a $320 million poultry complex south of Tonganoxie. They said the facility would have employed about 1,600 people.
The proposal faced immediate opposition from area residents.
During a Sept. 14 meeting, the LCDC Board of Directors voted to support the project.
“Since we last met, a lot has happened,” LCDC Executive Director Steve Jack said Thursday.
He noted that the Leavenworth County Commission voted Sept. 18 to rescind a resolution that had expressed an intent to issue industrial revenue bonds for the project.
The industrial revenue bonds would have served as a mechanism for providing an 80 percent property tax abatement for the Tyson Foods facility for a 10-year period.
On Sept. 19, an official with Tyson Foods announced the company was putting its plans for Leavenworth County on hold and looking at other locations.
“They designated it as on hold, but it looked a little more finished to us than that,” Jack said.
He noted that the Tonganoxie City Council and Tonganoxie Board of Education have approved resolutions in opposition to the project.
Jack said he considered the project to be closed.
“For our purposes, there’s not much more to do on this project,” he said.
Sturgeon asked if board members would rescind their support now that the project is dead.
“Would there be any purpose in doing that?” Jack asked.
Some members of the LCDC board indicated they did not see a reason for taking such action.
No motion was made to rescind the earlier support for the project.
During the meeting, Jack reported about other business development projects.
He said one, which was identified by the code name Project Green, involved a Kansas company that had been interested in locating a facility at the Tonganoxie Business Park.
Jack said LCDC had been informed the company was no longer interested in the Tonganoxie Business Park because of the community reaction to the Tyson Foods project.