by Janice Penix
The Clarksville City Council approved agreements with Tyson Poultry during its monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 9, for the construction of a new hatchery at the city-owned commerce park.
Council members authorized Mayor David Rieder to sign a performance agreement and a lease with Tyson for the project, which will include an initial capital investment of $36 million and a minimum of 23 new jobs with an average yearly base wage of at least $32,000.
Tyson Poultry has agreed to establish and operate a state-of-the-art poultry incubation center on 15.3 acres at the Clarksville Industrial Park, located off Massengale Road. The company will construct a 110,000-square foot building to house the incubation center.
In turn, the city will issue $64 million in industrial development revenue bonds and enter into an agreement with Tyson for payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT). Under the PILOT agreement, Tyson will make annual payments in an amount equal to 35 percent of the amount that would otherwise be due for real and personal property taxes.
The city will maintain ownership of the real property on which the incubation center is constructed, with Tyson leasing it at a cost of $100 per month.
Stephen Houserman, economic development officer for the city, said Tyson is prepared to begin construction as soon as next week. He said the new facility will replace the company’s existing hatchery on Taylor Road. While the initial phase of the project is not likely to include new jobs in addition to the existing positions, Houserman said the second phase should involve 25-30 new jobs.
The performance agreement also outlines how Tyson would pay back the city if the company did not fulfill the conditions regarding capital investments or jobs.
In a related matter, the Council voted to reallocate $300,000 in street improvement funds to the Tyson project for the construction of a road at the site. The funds had previously been appropriated for the development of a shooting range in cooperation with the University of the Ozarks.
Animal Control Facility
Following a lengthy discussion, the Council referred a request for an animal control facility to the animal control committee.
For full story see the Oct. 11 issue of The Graphic.