Sanderson Farms plans big economy benefits despite public concer - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Sanderson Farms plans big economy benefits despite public concern

Sanderson Farms Processing Plant in Palestine (Source: KLTV) Sanderson Farms Processing Plant in Palestine (Source: KLTV)
Chickens being taken to Sanderson Farms Processing Plant in Palestine (Source: KLTV) Chickens being taken to Sanderson Farms Processing Plant in Palestine (Source: KLTV)
Two possible Hatchery Locations (Source: KLTV) Two possible Hatchery Locations (Source: KLTV)
Proposed Processing plant location (Source: KLTV) Proposed Processing plant location (Source: KLTV)
Ron Faust (Source: KLTV) Ron Faust (Source: KLTV)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Two East Texas counties are touting plans to bring a $200 million poultry complex from Sanderson Farms to their area.

One of those locations is in Smith County, where a proposed Sanderson Farms processing plant could be built near I-20 and FM 2015.

There are also other planned facilities in Smith and Wood counties. Tom Mullins with the Tyler Economic Development Council tells us it's a move that could bring 1700 jobs and could add over a billion dollars to the economy.

Mullins says the facility project is massive.

"If not the...one of the biggest economic development projects announced this calendar year in Texas," says Mullins.

It’s also a move Mullins says will have major ripple effects.

"This is $200 million and 1700 jobs directly tied to the facilities they are building in Northeast Texas," says Mullins.

The facilities in Smith and Wood Counties will also be composed of proposed locations for a hatchery west of the Target Distribution Center, in the Lindale Industrial Park. There is another proposed hatchery location just southwest of UT Health Northeast off of highway 271. There will also be a feeding mill which will be help transport the feed on rail near Mineola, just south of Highway 80.

"You get all the economic activity of what the employees spend the vendors and suppliers spend, so there's an immediate positive impact," says Mullins.

It’s an operation that could reach 900 acres total, but on the other side of things, Sanderson Farms has already moved in to places like Palestine...essentially in Ron Faust’s back yard.

"This was all woods, this was all deer, you name the animal, it was out here," says Faust.

He lives right next to a Sanderson Farms processing plant.

"Look at these tanks, my son’s house could fit in those tanks," says Faust.

Sanderson Farms began operation in Palestine in 2015. The facilities are what Smith and Wood counties could see as well.

"We hear everything, bing, bing, bing, bang. It's like living next to a railroad," says Faust.

He also points to issues with the roads, and a smell.

"It's not all the time smelling, no, but it's there," says Faust.

Mullins is trying to put those concerns to bed.

"There's a lot of negative stereotypes...based on the old technologies," says Mullins.

He says residents shouldn't have anything to worry about, as these issues have been worked on over time.

"The treatment that they do in their plant and in their lagoons does not involve any smell, no odors, and the water quality that they discharge is drinking quality," says Mullins.

The facilities in Smith and Wood counties will be bigger than operations in Palestine. By comparison, Palestine has a hatchery that is 20 acres. The one in Smith County will be around 15 acres.

The size comes through in the processing plant and feeding mill. In Palestine, the processing plant is 211 acres. In Smith County, the processing plant is estimated to be 300-500 acres…the feeding mill, 200-250 acres.

It’s a size and operation that Mullins says will help open the door to even more economic opportunities.

Mullins says if all goes well, construction on the proposed facilities could start this summer and could be complete by late March of 2019.

According to the Tyler Economic Development Council, over a ten year period, more than 3600 total number of direct and indirect jobs could be created.

The council estimates more than 400 workers-direct and indirect-could move to Tyler. The job additions would increase the city's population by more than 1200. It would add more than $1.4 billion to the economy.

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