Texas county seeks grant to support Sanderson complex
Smith County officials seek money from Texas Department of Agriculture to finance water infrastructure improvements
The Smith County Commissioners Court in Texas is seeking grant money to help fund a water infrastructure to support Sanderson Farms’ planned poultry complex in the county.
The complex would include a hatchery in Lindale, a feed mill in Mineola and a Processing plant near Winona. Construction of the new facilities began in 2017, and they are expected to be in operation in the first calendar quarter of 2019.
According to a report from the Tyler Morning Telegraph, county officials are applying for grant money from the Texas Department of Agriculture to create a backup water supply system for the processing plant. The ag department gets money from the federal government, then distributes it throughout Texas through infrastructure grants.
If the grant is approved, about $1 million will be allocated to Sand Flat Water Supply Corp. to build the new water infrastructure.
Smith County had earlier shown its support for the Sanderson Farms poultry complex, as it approved a 10-year tax abatement package for the company to locate there. That package will enable Sanderson Farms to have 80 percent of its county property taxes abated for seven years, and half of the taxes abated for the three years after that. Tyler is the county seat of Smith County.
According to Sanderson Farms, the plant will process about 1.25 million birds per week when running at full capacity. An estimated 1,700 people are expected to be employed at the Sanderson Farm complex.
The company began accepting applications for about 100 salaried positions for the new complex in November 2017.
Sanderson Farms, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the third largest broiler company in the United States, having processed 82.5 pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2017. The publicly traded poultry company is headquartered in Laurel, Mississippi.