Cumberland back in running for chicken plant

Posted December 30, 2014

— A change in the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has revived the possibility of pursuing a chicken processing plant near Fayetteville.

Sanderson Farms has been looking at building a $113 million plant in the Cedar Creek Business Center, a county-owned 480-acre industrial park east of Interstate 95, that would employ about 1,000 people.

Commissioners abandoned their recruitment of the company in September when they couldn't agree on offering incentives to Sanderson Farms, but the November election of Glenn Adams and Larry Lancaster to the Board of Commissioners appears to have sparked renewed interest in the project.

Lancaster has said on several occasions that he's against the project. Adams couldn't be reached Tuesday for comment, but he has told other commissioners that he wants more information on the proposal.

"It's still much the same as it was when we started with this," Commissioner Marshall Faircloth said. "I will support whatever the board decides, but my vote will be in the negative."

The Board of Commissioners is expected to vote next Monday on whether to sell the site in the industrial park to Sanderson Farms. A yes vote would lead to a public hearing and a vote on an incentives package later in January.

A no vote on either the land sale or the incentives package would likely end the project in Cumberland County.

Residents who live near the Cedar Creek Business Center have been vocal against building the plant, citing concerns about the smell, noise, pollution and potential water contamination that might be associated with it.

In addition to the jobs at the plant, the company would contract with about 80 chicken farms in a five-county area to supply the plant.

Patsy Ann Matthews, who has lived with her husband in the area for about 30 years, said she hopes the chicken plant goes elsewhere. But they have been preparing their Evans Dairy Farm Road property for a possible sale if the plant deal goes through.

"We like it here, but I don't think we'll like it with the chicken plant here," Matthews said. "They can put (the plant) anywhere. They don't have to have this site."

Sanderson Farms has options on several other tracts in Cumberland County, according to a company spokesman. A city in Virginia also is courting the company to locate the plant there.

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  • 68_dodge_polara Dec 30, 2014

    Offering monetary incentives is corporate welfare