Tyson outlines planned upgrades for county board

Published 7:29 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

Warren County supervisors got an early preview of changes and upgrades for Tyson Farms Inc.’s plant at the Ceres Industrial Park, including a 2019 upgrade totaling $20 million.

Charlie Terrell with Tyson’s Arkansas office discussed the changes during a discussion of the company’s application for a tax exemption totaling $2.195 million for work already done at the plant.

“What we’re doing is modernizing two lines; it has to do with heating water, he said.

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“Hot water in the plant is part of the manufacturing process. It needs to be upgraded and our pollution control needs to be upgraded so we can become more efficient.

“We also have a big project planned in 2019, and we’re going to be modernizing two lines and add more capacity of chicken we can do, and we’re adding some spiral freezers and our fryer line. We’re part of the community.”

Terrell said Tyson purchased the plant in 1991 and employs 550 people. He said the plant is called a “prepared food plant. That means we take chicken that’s been produced in another plant and we produce chicken tenders (and) chicken wings that go out to customers, restaurants, things like that.”

He said the company does community service programs, adding the plant recently added a $50,000 community service truck that will begin working with schools and the food banks to produce hot meals for people, and could provide meals during disasters like tornadoes or floods.

“It is staffed by Tyson employees who are volunteers,” he said. “We also donate food to the local food banks, churches, the Red Cross.”

In another matter, the board approved hiring Vicksburg lawyer Omar Nelson, a member of the Gibbs Travis law firm in Jackson, to represent the county in a lawsuit against three drug companies involving opioid abuse.

County attorney Blake Teller said Nelson will be retained on a contingency fee of 25 percent of any settlement the county receives plus out-of-pocket-expenses, which means the county pays nothing unless it receives any money.

The county and the city of Vicksburg are joining other counties and cities in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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