Officials say no to Costco poultry plant town meeting
Town hall meeting would not be productive because in past meetings, opponents have been disorderly, economic development organization leader says
Officials in Fremont, Nebraska, have turned down requests to host a town hall meeting that would allow residents to ask questions about a proposed poultry plant.
According to a report from the Omaha World-Herald, opponents of the poultry plant project have been demanding that a town hall meeting would be held, but officials from the city, the Greater Fremont Development Council (GFDC), and Lincoln Premium Poultry, the company that would operate the plant, say such a meeting would not be productive.
Cecilia Harry, GFDC executive director, said that earlier attempts to meet with concerned citizens have been disrupted when residents became “hostile and disruptive.” Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman said the city council couldn’t host such a meeting and couldn’t all attend it without it constituting a quorum.
Meanwhile, Walt Shafer, a Lincoln Premium Poultry official, said he would still be willing to answer questions, but added the company was “not going to meet with a lynch mob.”
The poultry plant, which would process chicken to be sold at Costco locations, has been proposed in Fremont. Earlier plans were to locate the plant in nearby Nickerson, but those plans were halted when the Nickerson Board of Trustees voted against a land use plan that would have been necessary to build the plant there.
The proposed poultry plant is expected to employ about 1,100 people and would require 75-100 growers to support it.