- Andrea GantzOfficials in Cumberland County, North Carolina, voted against tax incentives for Sanderson Farms to build a poultry plant there.
County commissioners in Cumberland County, North Carolina voted 4-3 against holding a public hearing for an incentive package for Sanderson Farms, which hoped to build a $113 million poultry processing plant in the county. The plant would have employed up to 1,000 people.
"As I see it, it's dead. That's my opinion," said Commission Chairman Kenneth Edge. "We're not going to have a public hearing on the incentives. So this project is not going forward as I see it. It's a dead issue."
The commissioners met behind closed doors for more than an hour with staff from the Economic Development Alliance to discuss an incentives package. After the board emerged, a majority voted against scheduling a public hearing that would be required before offering any incentives.
About 50 people attended the board meeting. Opponents say they worried about potential traffic, pollution and odor problems if the plant were to be built.
In September 2014, the commission voted informally 5-2 to not move forward with the project. But the issue re-emerged after an election changed the membership of the commission.
Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms, called the county's decision "disappointing."
"Obviously, we've put a lot of time and effort into identifying Fayetteville, as far as an opportunity to do business there," he said. "So, from that standpoint, we're obviously disappointed that we're not able to consider it."
Billingsley said the company was waiting for an incentives package before making a decision.