Tyson plant resumes some operations

Tyson representatives posted an update on the reconstruction of the Holcomb meatpacking plant Friday morning, saying the plant is still months away from reopening entirely but has been able to resume limited ground beef and value-added production.

Tyson Fresh Meats President Steve Stouffer said in the update that the company appreciates the support from Finney County residents following a fire that heavily took to the harvest floor of the plant on Aug. 9 and 10, caused by a “flash” following welding work near the slaughter area. The plant has since closed temporarily for reconstruction.

Tyson, Stouffer said, “will continue to strive to do the right thing” as staff works to reopen the plant.

The company is replacing support beams and a portion of the roof that collapsed during the fire, and will then install “a vast amount” of new wiring and equipment, he said.

 

Ellis County OKs 2 new road graders

HAYS — With a pause in the rain so far this week, Ellis County Public Works employee Tim Epperson on Wednesday morning was operating a John Deere motor grader on Smoky Hill River Road, making tracks to fix the gravel a half mile east of the intersection with Toulon Avenue.

“I’m just trying to get it back in shape,” said Epperson of the sandy gravel road washed out by the onslaught of heavy rains in recent weeks. “If I don’t have to stop and fix anything I can do probably anywhere from 10 to 13 miles a day.”

Epperson has worked for the county for eight years, five of those operating one of the county’s 15 graders.

Soon three of the county graders will be replaced with two new ones.

The Ellis County Commissioners on Monday approved the purchase of two new 12M3 Caterpillar graders from Foley Equipment, of Wichita, for $421,000.

The graders could arrive from Wichita within a week, said Public Works Director Bill Ring.

 

 

 

As reported previously, Stouffer said the fire “severely damaged one of the most critical parts of the plant: the hydraulic and electrical system that supports the harvest floor.” The company is currently replacing support beams and a portion of the roof that collapsed during the fire, and will then install “a vast amount” of new wiring and equipment, he said.