Tyson plant talks come up at city meetings

HAYSVILLE, Kan. Update Tuesday, Nov. 14:

At Tuesday night's Clearwater City Council meeting, city leaders passed a measure to draft a resolution regarding the plant.

What this does is allow them to take that resolution to the county, saying they are united against Tyson coming to the area.

Tuesday night, Eyewitness News caught up with some of the people at the Clearwater meeting, all with different reasons for not wanting the plant.

"Notoriously, in communities where Tyson has been, it has not profited the community in the way that it was promised," Clearwater resident Angie Bielefeld says. "We love our little town and we want to protect it."


While no plans have been confirmed, we do know that Sedgwick County is one of three counties in Kansas under consideration for a possibly Tyson chicken plant.

We also know that real estate developers are looking to buy property near 71sts Street and South Ridge Road between Haysville and Clearwater. And Monday night, the Tyson plant did come up at the Haysville City Council meeting.

Haysville city leaders are urging people to write them and let them know if they support a Tyson plant. However, city leaders say there is not a lot they can do about the possibility of the plant being constructed nearby as it is out of their control.

Monday, the city council attracted a full house to talk about the possible plant.

"I'd say my biggest concern is that the city's water supply is west of town," says Haysville City Councilmember Steve Crum.

That location west of town is said to be a possible site for the Tyson plant. While nothing is official, or even preliminary at this point, people across Sedgwick County are organizing to voice their concerns.

"The water pollution, the number of times Tyson has been cited for that and other issues, and I'm concerned about the smell," says Mike Fussell who lives near Haysville.

Opinions on a Tyson plant differ in Haysville.

"There's other plants out there. Personally, I would like to see it come in for the jobs, but I understand the other side too," says Haysville resident Jennifer Murphy.

Haysville resident Pam Hartley says she doesn't know exactly where she stands on the issue, but she's trying to stay informed through research.

"I'm always concerned about pollution, issues like that," she says.

At Haysville City Hall, leaders encourage residents to write their county commissioners. Eyewitness News spoke with Commissioner Michael O'Donnell who represents the area, Sedgwick County District 2.

"... I feel like people are frustrated because people feel we are not being forthcoming," O'Donnell says. But because of our economic development arm being the Greater Wichita Partnership, we on the commission don't get much information. As soon I get that information, I'm going to disperse it and we're going to have public forums."

The Greater Wichita Partnership says no decisions have been made and they will keep people updated. Meanwhile, groups continue to speak out. More input is expected Tuesday at the Clearwater City Council meeting.