Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 4, 2013

City loses $15.2M industry investment

Cobb-Vantress, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, decides not to locate in Glasgow

By MELINDA J. OVERSTREET
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — A company that had planned to construct a feed mill in the Highland Glen Industrial Park has decided it won’t be coming to Glasgow after all.

Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman released a statement Monday afternoon that all but said that Cobb-Vantress, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, would not be able to locate its proposed facility here because of issues getting clearance to build a structure 200 feet high within airspace designated for the Glasgow Municipal Airport. The runway is roughly 2,000 to 3,000 feet – less than a mile – from the closest edge of the lot where Cobb-Vantress planned to build.

The mayor’s statement reviewed the efforts to resolve the issue, but began its closing with the comment, “It’s unfortunate that Cobb/Tyson was unable to modify or move the silo to be in compliance with the FAA airspace safety standards.”

Gary Mickelson, director of public relations for Tyson Foods, responded to questions about whether the company had actually made a decision, with the following statement: “We appreciate the help of local leaders who have supported our interest in Glasgow as a site for our new feed mill. Unfortunately, because of the aviation-related concerns, we must drop Glasgow from consideration.

“We’re looking at other possible locations in the region for our new facility, but have not made a decision.”

Mickelson declined to answer any further questions about the timeline of the decision and/or notification of local officials.

The $15.2 million project had received final approval in June for a Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act incentive of $230,000 in the form of a refund of Kentucky sales and use tax, and had preliminary approval for a Kentucky Business Investment Program incentive of  $350,000 in the form of income tax credits and wage assessments.

Plus, in September, the Glasgow City Council approved an ordinance approving a $100,000 forgivable loan to Cobb-Vantress, Inc., from the Glasgow Economic Development Loan Fund, and an ordinance permitting rebate or retention by Cobb-Vantress, Inc., of 1 percent of the 1.5 percent occupational license fee on certain wages paid to employees within the city of Glasgow.

The company was expected to hire approximately 17 employees at an estimated hourly wage of $14.13, according to information on the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development website.

Read the full report in Tuesday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.