Those on the "pro" side point out the jobs a new plant would bring to the area. "A lot of people are out of work," said resident Garland Deaver. Roughly 400 jobs are expected to be initially available once the processing facility opens. Up to 1,100 total jobs are possible.
The "con" side, which includes the Wilson City Council, has environmental concerns. The City Council had allocated $1 million to fight the plant and has threatened to cut off Wilson's water supply if the county allows the build. But Bob Billingsley, Sanderson Farms' director of development, said there has been confusion regarding the poultry plant's spray fields. "It is not the same thing as a hog operation," he said. "We'll have a $12 million water treatment plant under permit limits from the state of North Carolina." The fields are set to become a hay operation.