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Sedgwick County Will Not Offer Tyson Any Incentives

Nadya Faulx
KMUW/File photo

The Greater Wichita Partnership announced Thursday that Sedgwick County will not be offering any incentives to help lure a Tyson chicken processing plant.

The decision not to offer Tyson Foods any incentives likely means a new chicken processing facility won’t be built in Sedgwick County. Earlier this year, Tyson put their plans to build this facility in Tonganoxie, Kansas, on hold when city officials took back a letter of intent to offer almost $500 million in revenue bonds.

Meanwhile, Cloud and Montgomery counties still remain interested and continue to work with the state.

Kansas Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne says they initially received proposals from about 16 communities before Tyson settled on Cloud, Montgomery, and Sedgwick counties. She says the door was never closed on those not initially picked.

"If there's another community that they want to go back and look at, that would certainly be an option and a possibility and we would encourage that," Lansdowne says.

The decision not to offer Tyson incentives comes only a day after Sedgwick County and the city of Wichita announced a deal to provide Spirit AeroSystems with $17 million that will go toward constructing a new building at its production facility.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell says the Spirit deal made offering Tyson anything difficult.

"This is not a knock on Tyson, an attack on Tyson, an indictment on Tyson, we love Tyson, but, at the end of the day, it just evaluated, where should our resources go?" O'Donnell says. "And Spirit’s where this commission went."

A spokesperson for Tyson Foods said the company is not far enough into the process to have any comment on how this might affect its decision to bring a facility to Kansas. 


Follow Brian Grimmett on Twitter @briangrimmett.

Coverage of energy and the environment is made possible in part by ITC Great Plains and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Brian Grimmett is a two-time Regional Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist covering energy and environment stories across the state of Kansas.