Although investors' identities aren't forthcoming, Albert Lea, Minn., city leaders say a new futuristic pork-processing plant could find its home there.
City leaders say the plant could be large enough to change the area's demographics. According to the Associated Press, Albert Lea's city manager said the plant envisioned for a site southeast of town would be 600,000 square feet, eventually employ 2,000 people, slaughter 4 million hogs and pump $100 million into the local economy, annually.
The unnamed company is considering two other towns but investors could make their decision within 30 days. Some Albert Lea residents have expressed concern with the visual and environmental impact of adding a packing plant to their community. The plant is described to look more like an office building than a packinghouse. Residents also have raised concerns over the social pressure that an influx of packing plant workers could bring to the area.
Albert Lea attorney Henry Savelkoul, who is working with the investors, said those involved are already working in the industry and don't want competitors to know their identity. He said the plant would differ from traditional plants in that it would not buy hogs on the open market; animals would be shipped to match the company's needs from nearby farms.
There will be no sign of a stockyard; the entire operation would be indoors, notes Alvert Lea Mayor Jean Eaton.