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— Benton County planners have reviewed plans for a proposed new poultry processing plant for Simmons Prepared Foods to be located between Gentry and Decatur.

A public hearing on the proposal is set for Dec. 6.

According to information submitted to the county Planning Department, the company plans a 400,000-square-foot poultry processing facility on 563 acres at 9802 S. Arkansas 59. The building site would take up about 100 acres of the property.

David Jackson, president and chief operating officer for Simmons Prepared Foods, told the board that the company needed to relocate from its current location in downtown Decatur because that site is limited and the company plans to expand the operation.

Jackson said the company has about 700 employees at the Decatur location and will have about 950 at the new location when it opens. Over a period of three to four years, Jackson said, the company plans to expand the operation to have up to 2,300 employees.

The plant would operate 24 hours a day, from Sunday through Friday, with three shifts each day -- two production shifts and one cleanup shift, Jackson said.

Jackson estimated that the plant would have trucks driving on and off the site at a rate of about one truck every six minutes. Consultants for the company said they are working on a traffic study.

General News on 11/29/2017

Print Headline: County reviews plan for poultry plant

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