The city council in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is considering requiring that Sanderson Farms hire contractors from Cumberland County to build a proposed chicken processing plant and once the plant is built, hire mostly Cumberland County residents to staff the plant. The hiring requirements would be part of an incentives package offered to Sanderson Farms as it considers building its plant outside of Fayetteville in Cumberland County, according to a report in the Fayetteville Observer.

Neither the city nor the county have finalized incentives proposals as Sanderson considers building a $113 million plant at the now vacant Cedar Creek Business Center, a 485-acre industrial park owned by Cumberland County. The property was recently annexed by the City of Fayetteville.

If the local hiring requirements are approved, it would be a first for the city. The city and county governments have long encouraged that new construction projects utilize local companies, but that encouragement has never been in a binding form.

Officials know that the local hiring stipulations, if accepted, would be good for the local economy. However, they are also aware that it could be a deal-breaker for the new plant.

"The company could accept or decline an incentives offer made subject to those conditions," said Cumberland County Attorney Rick Moorefield.