Kuckkahn: Quality jobs should lessen "cultural impact" of meatpacking plant

Scottsbluff City Manager Rick Kuckkahn says good paying jobs and benefits should lessen any concerns of "cultural impacts" from new employees that might be hired at a proposed meatpacking plant. The city is considering an offer by an Asian based firm to locate a 358,000 square-foot facility on a 43 acre industrial park on the east side of the community.

Kuckkahn says he has heard underlying concerns about the impact incoming employees might have on the culture of the community. He believes the quality jobs being offered by Future Foods Energy LLC should alleviate those worries. Kuckkahn told KNEB News "this company has a commitment to the work force, so to assume this is going to be just another meatpacking plant is probably not accurate."

Kuckkahn says the proposal was referred to the L.B. 840 committee so they could provide a report on the economic impact of the project, the stability of the company and other issues if Future Foods Energy LLC does ask for job creation funds. Kuckkahn says the city will be organizing public meetings in the next couple weeks to gain citizen input and staff will be researching the impact on city services or infrastructure.

Kuckkahn believes it will be as long as a couple months before a decision is made on whether to move forward with the company's offer to purchase the 43 acres at $10,000 an acre.

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