When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners heard more comments from people who are opposed to a poultry plant opening near Tonganoxie.

When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners heard more comments from people who are opposed to a poultry plant opening near Tonganoxie.

Last week, officials from Tyson Foods announced plans to open a $320 million facility that would include a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill.

When commissioners met Thursday, people who are opposed to the plant filled the County Commission meeting room.

A smaller audience assembled for Monday’s meeting, but several people still expressed opposition to the proposed facility.

The commission previously approved agreements to pay two utility companies a total of $7.344 million to extend water and natural gas lines for the proposed plant. Under the agreements, the companies will repay the county over time with revenue from the utilities sold through the extended lines.

Interim County Counselor David Van Parys said these agreements are based on the condition that other actions related to the poultry plant take place.

The commission also has approved a resolution expressing intent to issue industrial revenue bonds for the project. Van Parys has said the county government would not be responsible for repaying the bonds. The bonds would serve as a mechanism for allowing a developer to make payments in lieu of property taxes over a 10-year period.

No one initially asked to speak Monday during a public comment portion of the meeting. But Commission Chairman Doug Smith raised the issue of the proposed poultry facility, and audience members then asked to speak about the topic.

Smith said he had attended a rally over the weekend in Tonganoxie.

The event, which took place Saturday, had been advertised as an organizational meeting for a group opposed to the proposed plant.

“A lot of people turned out,” Smith said.

He said people at the event had concerns about the environmental track record of Tyson Foods.

He later said “environmental issues will be addressed.”

County Administrator Mark Loughry said officials with Tyson Foods are in the process of setting up a town hall meeting. He said the meeting should include representatives of the company, state government, city of Tonganoxie and county government.

Loughry said the county has not yet received an application to rezone the site of the proposed plant.

Tyson Foods reportedly is looking to utilize two parcels located off of 222nd Street, or County Road 1.

Commissioner Bob Holland said he does not believe the land has been purchased yet.

According to Register of Deeds Stacy Driscoll, a transfer of the land has not yet been recorded with her office.

Wes Baker was among those who addressed the commission Monday.

He questioned whether there are enough people in the area to work at the proposed plant.

Tyson Foods officials have announced the facility will employ about 1,600 people.

Baker argued the facility will employ migrants.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber said a development agreement between the county government and Tyson Foods should require that employees at the facility are “American citizens or green card holders.”

“They’re going to bus these people in, and we have to face that issue,” Graeber later said about workers for the plant.

At one point, Loughry objected to language Baker used during Monday’s meeting of the County Commission.

Brian Morley also was among those who addressed commissioners Monday to express opposition to the plant.

“This is going to destroy our property values, our community,” he said.

Smith suggested the county could seek the assistance of an outside law firm to help with a development agreement with Tyson Foods and address other issues connected to the project. However, no vote was taken on this proposal.

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