Texas town pursuing packing plant

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Jan 14, 2005
by WLJ
A west Texas town is offering an incentive package to lure a $20 million meat-processing plant with its 700 jobs.
Odessa Texas is in the running for a $20 million meat-processing plant, according to the Odessa American newspaper. An unnamed company is considering Odessa as well as several other west Texas towns as the site of the plant.
Neil McDonald, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce’s economic development director, reported some details of the project “dubbed Project Trim”—during the monthly meeting of the Odessa Development Corp. Shortly before Christmas, the state Office of Tourism
and Economic Development contacted McDonald about “Project Trim” seeking information about the city’s infrastructure and workforce. McDonald said the project would entail construction of a processing facility and the creation of 700 to 1,000 jobs.
Mike George, president and chief executive of the chamber, stressed that the facility would not involve the killing of live animals. “This is not a slaughterhouse we’re talking about,” George said. McDonald added that the facility would purchase processed, vacuum-packed meat for use in other products. There would be no emissions or animal waste.
McDonald said Odessa is not the only city vying for the project, adding that state officials told him that this is a west Texas project. “So I’m sure there are other West Texas communities that are going to be competing for this project, but we don’t know who they are and they didn’t divulge that,” McDonald said.
The ODC will offer the company several incentives, including an 85-acre tract in an industrial park with access to utilities, rail, Interstate 20, as well as multiple property tax and Freeport tax exemptions, the newspaper said. The ODC taps the $0.0025 economic-development sales tax to offer incentives for qualifying businesses and industries that create new jobs.
McDonald said Odessa has an advantage over other potential cities in west Texas, the newspaper reported. Odessa is one of only two cities in the area that has an industrial wastewater treatment plant that requires no pretreatment by users. “The plant gives the city serious leverage on this project,”McDonald said. He added that he doesn’t know how soon the company will make a final decision. — WLJ