Feed mill project on horizon

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

George's Inc., hopes to start excavation for a new feed mill at the Butterfield plant location in November, said Craig Coberley, George's vice president of the Arkansas-Missouri complex.

In September, the Missouri Department of Economic Development approved a $266,500 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which will fund industrial infrastructure improvements in Barry County.

"It is important that Missouri has adequate resources available so our smaller communities and counties can make necessary infrastructure improvements that will help them win business location or expansion projects," said Matt Blunt, Missouri governor.

The CDBG program provides economic development grants and loans to cities with population under 50,000 and counties with population under 200,000.

The CDBG funds will pay for a southbound deceleration lane, a northbound left turn lane off of Highway 37 and a driveway entrance across from the existing plant entrance.

"It will be safer for the trucks to pull out and turn into the plant," said Coberley. "The drivers won't have to go out on Highway 37. They can go out on Highway W if they choose."

Traffic in Barry County will increase only mildly, said Coberley.

"We're already hauling feed to our Barry County growers from Springdale, Peterson and Willow Brook," said Coberley. "We will haul the same amount of feed less miles.

"It will increase traffic in the Highway 37 and W area a little because of the delivery of feed ingredients," said Coberley, "but most of the ingredients will be transported by rail."

The new feed mill will supply 27 new jobs, including truck driving positions.

"I am pleased that state, local and company officials were able to work together to make this expansion possible, thereby creating new jobs and a greater demand for locally grown agricultural products," said Blunt.

The expansion project will benefit local farmers and the local economy, said Coberley.

"The mill will give Barry County growers a quicker response time with feed in their area," said Coberley. "It will also increase the tax base in Barry County."

Although excavation for the feed mill's construction could begin in November, citizens will not see road improvements until after December, said Coberley.

George's Inc., based in Springdale, Ark., supplies poultry products to fast food restaurants and grocers across the country. The Butterfield George's plant opened in 1989.

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