Tyson Foods: 'Not currently considering any potential property in Kansas'

SEDGWICK COUNTY, KAn. (KWCH) The same day the Greater Partnership of Wichita confirms no incentives will be offered to Tyson Foods, Inc., the company says currently, it is not considering Kansas as an option for one of its poultry plants.

Tyson released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"We’re currently moving forward with our new poultry operation in Humboldt, Tennessee, and are working with officials there who’ve been great partners throughout the planning process.

We may one day decide to build an additional plant as demand for our chicken continues to grow, but no decisions have been made. While a number of Kansas communities have expressed interest in a new Tyson poultry operation, we’re not actively engaged in planning discussions with any city or county since making our announcement in Tennessee, and are not currently considering any potential property in Kansas. That’s why we believe any speculation, conjecture or government action about a potential Tyson Foods facility in Kansas is premature."

The Greater Wichita Partnership released the following statement earlier in the day:

"Through preliminary research and discussions with key partners, it has become clear there is not support in Sedgwick County for incentives for this project at this time. Given this information we thought it was best for the project team to let state partners know that Sedgwick County would likely not be competitive for this particular project.

“The Partnership has done excellent work gathering information and analyzing this potential project,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell. “However, the marketplace for new jobs especially at this level is very competitive and no community has unlimited resources. That means every community has to make decisions on when and where in the marketplace to compete. Sedgwick County has communicated to our state partners that this is one of those times when we need to focus our energy and resources on other economic development opportunities. We wish Tyson, the State of Kansas and especially all other communities who compete for this project the best. Tyson Foods already has many jobs and sites throughout Kansas and those communities greatly value the company’s investment and commitment. We believe this will be another one of those opportunities for a Kansas county.”'

Montgomery County still hope for a Tyson plant in the future.

"We want to make sure Tyson knows that Kansas wants Tyson to come to Kansas," said Trisha Purdon, The Executive Director of Montgomery County Action Council.

She said the county would be willing to offer the company incentives.

"We've issued publicly we will issue industrial revenue bonds for them that will make them eligible for a ten year property tax abatement, minus of course the school district's capital outlay that the state legislature took out of that incentive package," said Purdon.

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The Greater Wichita Partnership announced on Thursday Sedgwick County will not offer incentives for a Tyson plant.

Eyewitness News told you on Wednesday night the Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau said the county will not support incentives for the project. Without those incentives, it's unlikely the company would consider Sedgwick County.

The organization released the following statement:


“The Partnership has done excellent work gathering information and analyzing this potential project,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell.

“However, the marketplace for new jobs especially at this level is very competitive and no community has unlimited resources. That means every community has to make decisions on when and where in the marketplace to compete.

Sedgwick County has communicated to our state partners that this is one of those times when we need to focus our energy and resources on other economic development opportunities. We wish Tyson, the State of Kansas and especially all other communities who compete for this project the best.

Tyson Foods already has many jobs and sites throughout Kansas and those communities greatly value the company’s investment and commitment.

We believe this will be another one of those opportunities for a Kansas county.”

With Sedgwick County out, that would leave Cloud County and Montgomery County as possible finalists for a plant if Tyson decides to locate in Kansas.

On Wednesday, Tyson said plans for a Kansas plant remain on hold but it was continuing to evaluate options for growth.