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Ottawa County commissioners say ‘yes’ to proposed meat processing plant at former racetrack site

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 12:10 AM CST
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MINNEAPOLIS Kan. (KWCH) - Ottawa County commissioners Wednesday said ‘yes’ to a proposed meat processing plant. The plan would convert a former racetrack near Minneapolis, in north central Kansas. That proposal has been met by opposition from some in the community.

There was a strong turnout at Wednesday’s Ottawa County Commission meeting where the vote passed, 2-1 to build a new processing plant east of Minneapolis. Most of the public at the meeting spoke in opposition to the plans.

Lava Angus Processing made its pitch to community members on what a meat processing plant will look like in town. The vote commissioners made led to some disappointment.

“I hope it’s not over. I hope we can put some contingencies on the IRBs and have a say,” said Minneapolis community member Alice Gruber.

Community members like Gruber said there was no issue with the proposed plant at first, but then the plan changed regarding the number of cattle associated with the planned facility’s operation.

“No one had a problem with the 50 head. It’s when it got to the 100s and the 250s up to 500, which now they’re saying is going to happen. But the zoning law passed and there is no restrictions,” Gruber said.

This has led to trust issues.

“How can we trust these people when every time we turn around, it’s a whole new number? I just, it’s just there is no trust there and I have a hard time believing that they’re going to keep their word,” Gruber said.

About 120 cattle are expected to be processed per day after a ramp-up year at the proposed plant. This number is expected to jump to 250 cattle per day beyond year three. Fifty jobs are expected to be created at the conclusion of the first year and with the expectation of up to 130 job openings by year six.

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