Cumberland officials could vote to put poultry plant to the public
Posted January 19, 2015
Updated January 20, 2015
Fayetteville, N.C. — Residents of Cumberland County may get to chime in on tax breaks for a proposed poultry plant after all.
The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a vote for Tuesday to decide whether to call the public hearing necessary to consider a $2.5 million incentive package for Sanderson Farms. The company was considering whether to build a $95 million plant in a county-owned industrial park in Cedar Creek, east of Interstate 95.
Commissioners voted 4-3 against taking the plan to the public early in January, but then at-large Commissioner Charles Evans changed his mind after hearing from constituents.
"I did not have all the information. I did not have all the questions answered that I needed answered," Evans said. "I feel pretty comfortable now that answers are being produced."
The Mississippi-based company told economic development officials last week that it is forgetting about Cumberland County after the commissioners rejection.
The $95 million chicken processing plant could create about 1,000 jobs, but opponents worry about potential truck congestion, dust, and the odors from any expansion of chicken farms supplying the plant.
Under the terms of the incentives plan, Sanderson Farms would create at least 975 jobs – 60 percent of which would go to Cumberland County residents – over three years and not contract with any poultry farms within a 10-mile radius of its facility or within a mile of the Cape Fear River.
In exchange, the county would provide the company a 50 percent grantback of county property taxes to be paid over a nine-year period.