Members of the Nickerson Village Board of Nickerson, Neb. voted 5-0 against a plan that would have rezoned the land where a proposed poultry processing plant was to have been built. Two of the board members told the Omaha World-Herald that the vote effectively halted the project.
The company that proposed the plant has not yet been disclosed, and that was one of the reasons that residents of Nickerson came to the board meeting to oppose the plant. The board was considering the recommendation of the village planning commission to rezone some parcels of land from general commercial to industrial — a change that would accommodate the plant. Residents who spoke out against the plant cited everything from bad smalls and heavy traffic to an influx of disease and immigrant workers, the newspaper reported.
Erik Gahner, head of the village board, said he went into the meeting with mixed feelings. But public comments swayed him. "We do want to grow," he said of the town, but "the risk wasn't worth the reward."
The plant, which is to open in 2018, would employ up to 1,000 workers and create a $1.2 billion annual economic impact. The Greater Fremont Development Council said that it will regroup and reassess the project.
Source: Omaha World-Herald