Abatement approved for Empirical Foods

Meghan Flynn
Lona DuVall stands by the site at Jennie Barker Road and US-50 highway where Empirical Foods plans to building a ground beef processing facility that will bring approximately 300 jobs to the area. DuVall is president and CEO of Finney County Economic Development Corporation.

A 10-year, 60% tax abatement was approved for the future Empirical Foods facility at Monday’s Finney County Commission meeting.

Lona DuVall, president and CEO of Finney County Economic Development Corporation, said the tax abatement policy for Finney County is 60%.

DuVall said most of the abatements Finney County does are for 20 to 30% for typically under seven years. However, the Empirical Foods project is much larger, with an estimated $252 million investment.

“It should be a quicker payback just based on the fact that they are investing more and therefore their tax liability will be higher,” she said.

The estimate is probably $100 million to $50 million short of what will actually be invested, DuVall said, but the $252 million was the estimate given when the project began, before a location was identified.

The abatement won’t go into effect until the project is completed.

DuVall said construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months and to produce 300 full-time jobs once it’s complete.

In other business:

• Lori Jacobs was appointed to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau board.

• Roxanne Morgan, executive director of the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, was appointed to the fair board.