Sioux City is working to redevelop the site of a former meatpacking plant that closed last year. More than 1,400 workers lost their jobs when the John Morrell and Company pork processing plant shut down.
Marty Dougherty, the northwest Iowa city’s economic development director, says the area’s about to get new life.
“The old Morrell plant sat right on the interstate and had an odor — it was a slaughter facility,” Dougherty says. “Since it’s been closed, it doesn’t have the odor anymore but it’s still not very attractive. So, we’re going to be able to achieve this long-standing goal of cleaning up the entrance to Sioux City and at the same time bring in some new jobs and new investment.”
He says another food processing company is interested in the facility and in creating up to 200 new jobs. Dougherty says the company, Global Foods, was interested in the site because of its proximity to a highway and railway.
“It works really well for what they want to do and for what we want to do, which is bring jobs and investment back into that area and clean up the site,” Doughtery says. “It’s not very attractive site today. We actually have a wall we’ll remove because we’ll have an attractive site, well-landscaped and a brand new facility.”
Dougherty says the concept has strong support in the city council. The council meets this afternoon to consider whether to accept the 23-acre site free of charge from John Morrell and Company.
Council members will also vote on a proposal to apply for a $2-million federal grant to redevelop the site.