Pet food company plans to build factory in Tonganoxie

The Leavenworth Times

A pet food company has announced plans to build a factory in Tonganoxie, it was announced Friday in a news release.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced the company's intent to invest more than $250 million to build a new factory in the Tonganoxie Business Park. Company officials anticipate the factory will employ at least 80 people by 2025.

The Topeka-based Hill's Pet Nutrition is a division of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.

“Hill’s Pet Nutrition is excited to be growing our roots in Kansas," Jesper Nordengaard, president of the company, said in a news release. "We’ve been part of the community for almost 80 years and this new facility will help us to meet our mission of enriching and lengthening the special relationships between people and their pets by providing our high quality nutrition."

The news release describes the planned factory as state-of-the-art. The company plans to build the facility on 80 acres in the Tonganoxie Business Park.

The site was selected as company officials worked with the Kansas Department of Commerce, Leavenworth County Development Corporation, city of Tonganoxie, the Evergy power company and Kansas Gas Service.

"This looks like a fantastic smart-growth project for our community,” David Frese, mayor of Tonganoxie, said in the news release. “It checks a bunch of the right boxes. A Kansas company; an environmentally up-to-date facility; a manageable influx of new neighbors; great jobs that pay well; high-tech opportunities for our young people; the possibility of attracting more business to Tonganoxie; and a boon to the city’s economy.”

Steve Jack, executive director of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, said the $250 million planned investment for the building and equipment would be the largest capital investment to ever be made in Leavenworth County by a manufacturer.

The Tonganoxie City Council is scheduled to review a development agreement outlining the project Monday.

Jack said this will give members of the public an opportunity to learn more about the project.

Once all approvals are granted, construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2023, according to the news release.

"Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s decision to invest $250 million in Kansas and bring 80 new jobs to Tonganoxie is further proof that Kansas’ Animal Health Corridor can out-compete any region in the world for these industry investments and jobs," Gov. Laura Kelly said in the news release. “With our central location, talented workforce and reputation as a global leader in animal health and science, our partnership with Hill’s is a no-brainer."

Jack said Hill's Pet Nutrition has an exceptional environmental record and the planned factory should produce no unpleasant odor.