Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New rendering plant promises high paying jobs at 4 Star Park

J-E Editor

More than a decade after the last new industry opened it’s doors in 4 Star Park, north of Sebree on US 41, the industrial park looks to soon be the home to a new employer.
AgRenew Partners LLC, which was incorporated earlier this year, plans a 15,000-square-foot, $4.5 million dollar animal byproduct processing facility. The plant will turn these byproducts into a bone meal product for use in the pet food industry and oil for oleochemicals.

Robards Mayor David Sellers visited with the Webster County Fiscal Court on Monday to express the concern of his constituent who live just across the county line in Henderson County.

“This rendering plant would not only mean the shipping of animal parts and animal guts through our area, their presence creates the potential for environmental contamination,” Sellers said. He cited the numerous complaints he gets about the Tyson Foods owned rendering plant already in the industrial park.

“A lot of tax payer money has gone into the 4 Star Park,” he said. “How likely is it that a new industry will want to locate across the street from two rendering plants? This could lead to the loss of longer and more viable industries.”

The last new facility to open its doors in the 4 Star park was Columbia Outdoors, which opened for business in 2003.

Kyndle Vice President of Economic Development, Donna Crooks, who was on hand for a separate issue, told the court that she had recently visited a similar plant in Tama, Iowa as part of the deal with AgRenew. She said she didn’t think that odor was going to be an issue.
“Inside, it smelled like a manufacturing plant,” she said. “Outside you couldn’t smell anything.”

She even said that the staff at a nearby restaurant had no idea what the facility was even doing.

“At full capacity the AgRenew plant will create 14 new jobs,” Crooks said. “These are 14 good paying jobs.”

Some estimates have employees making an average of over $17 per hour.
Crooks told the court that AgRenew had expected to be further along that they are now, but construction has been held up by the permitting process.
Charles Morris, a Sebree poultry farmer who will act as plant manager, was unable to be reached for comment.

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