Group organizes to oppose Tyson Plant in Sedgwick County

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) As Sedgwick County explores its options to attract a new $320 million Tyson chicken plant, opponents to the project are now organizing.

They want county leaders to hear their concerns, something they hope to achieve beginning with some bright red signs with a blunt message: No Tyson in Sedgwick County.

Lori Lawrence, a lifetime Wichita resident organized the Facebook group "No Tyson Wichita and Sedgwick County."

People on the page voiced concerns, including treatment of animals, health issues, and poor working conditions on why they say they don't want the plant here.

"It's not just Sedgwick county, it's Reno County, Harper County, Sumner County all those within 50 miles may see these chicken farms and their wastewater and their pollution they put out, it's going to be a problem," said Lawrence.

Supporters of the plant say they would welcome the more than 15-hundred jobs it could bring with it, but in response to the group's concerns, Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis says it's important to remember Tyson has not made a selection yet.

"We need to listen to their concerns, we are in the gathering information mode right now, our goal is to keep an open mind, we plan on being as transparent as we can through the entire process but we are just exploring whats going on with Tyson," said Dennis.

Lawrence plans on hosting a meeting Saturday morning where those for and against the plant can talk.

Dennis says he'll be there.

"We definitely want economic growth, we want something that is an economic generator but we also want to protect our natural resources."

Sedgwick County does not yet have a specific location for it's proposal.

Tyson is also looking at offers in Montgomery County and Cloud County as well as locations in other states.

The meeting on the plant is set for Saturday at 9 at Linwood Park Recreation Center.