Local News

Group pushes for Nash chicken processing center

Posted February 22, 2011 4:10 p.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2011 2:01 p.m. EST

— A group wanting a chicken processing plant to be built in Nash County kicked off a campaign Tuesday that urges support for the project, which could bring thousands of jobs to the area.

Poultry producer Sanderson Farms proposed in November building a chicken processing plant off N.C. Highway 97 in Nash County.

The proposal has sparked concern from residents concerned about property values and air and water pollution, despite Nash County Board of Commissioners voting to rezone the property and research that shows no potential environmental problems.

Skip Carney, with NEW NC Jobs for Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson, says the plant will help, not hurt, the region, which has a 12.23 percent unemployment rate.

In addition to 2,700 positions, including construction jobs, about $100 million would be invested into the struggling region, Carney said.

The group of business leaders launched TV commercials and a website aimed at critics, including the city of Wilson, which has filed a lawsuit to stop the plant over concerns about ground water.

“(It’s) to give voice to the more than 13,000 people in the region that are out of work and need these jobs and to the many, many people who agree that Sanderson Farms will be good for Nash, Wilson and Edgecombe counties,” Carney said.