Compiled by Kevin Schulz
According to media reports, Smithfield Foods plans to upgrade its pork processing plant in Monmouth, Ill., a city where the company employs 1,500 area people.
Earlier this month, Smithfield and the city of Monmouth agreed on a plan to improve and update the aging plant over the next two years, with Smithfield picking up the tab from the city, paying back a $3 million price tag to Monmouth from 2018 to 2038, according to a Galesburg Register-Mail article.
The $3 million covers three key improvements: replacing one of the clarifiers at the plant, replacing a pipeline (in place since 1965) that carries wastewater from Smithfield to the city wastewater treatment plant, and updating the electrical services at the plant, which have been in place “since the late-1960s.”
In the Register-Mail article, Monmouth City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher highlights Smithfield’s benefit to the city.
“Obviously Smithfield is a major employer here in Monmouth,” Steinbrecher says. “They are a very significant business leader and they also generate not only a lot of water and sewer revenue but they are also a major property tax payer. They support not only the city but also the school district and the county and local tax jurisdictions. They are a very significant player in the community.”
Steinbrecher says the city is getting ready to go to bid on the clarifier, and will go to bid on the pipeline in mid- to late-October. He estimates those two projects will be done by the end of 2018, barring unforeseen circumstances. Including the electrical work, he says the projects should take around two years to complete.