All over but the squealing, E. Moline council OKs Triumph development deal
From the QC Times:
The East Moline City Council unanimously approved a development agreement Monday night with Triumph Foods LLC of St. Joseph, Mo., for a controversial pork processing plant to be built in the Quad-City community.Many interesting quotes within the piece. Some rather pathetic, such as a labor leader comparing Triumph's hog processing plant locating here to Deere & Co. or Alcoa, and a 21 yr old father saying he wants the plant here in case, "... my college degree doesn’t pan out, I want to provide a living and raise my family here, and make my parents and my grandparents proud."
The deal will give Triumph about $20 million in incentives to attract the $135 million facility with some 1,000 jobs paying wages estimated at $11.75 per hour on average.
Gene Hollerud of Moline questioned Rick Hoffman, chief executive officer of Triumph Foods, on the actual wages paid by the company and how it recruits workers.
Hoffman said 90 percent of the employees at the new Triumph plant are from the St. Joseph area. He said the starting wage is $8.25 per hour, but many incentives make the actual average wage much higher. That plant had 2,000 people apply for jobs; 300 were offered and 150 are now on the payroll, he said.
Pretty sad, really.
And somehow, it seems the debate was twisted until the only objection was thought to be the potential smell of the plant. There's numerous serious and important issues beyond that which would make a community question whether the plant is what they want in their area, but they got lost in the shuffle.
All the defenders seem to say is, "I don't think it will smell too bad", as if that's the only problem with this proposal. They completely ignored the enormous $20 million dollar "incentives" the city and county will hand the company, or the potential loss of funding the TIF district will pose for school and fire boards.
No real details about the impact on the flood plain. No information or data about whether the plant will attract CAFOs or concentrated factory hog farms. The only thing I heard was "I doubt it will attract them." Well then.
The way this entire thing was handled and approved was truly "faith-based", much too much for my tastes. And I love pork.