Earlier this fall, there was significant speculation that Pekin, Ill., could be the home of a JBS USA pork processing plant. This week, the town’s mayor reported that Pekin has put an end to those talks. Estimates suggested that the plant could have brought more than 2,500 jobs to central Illinois, reports Meatingplace.com.
“As of today, we're no longer pursuing this prospect, or looking to perform any additional due diligence as a possible location for this company to build a new plant in Pekin,” according to a statement released by Mayor Rusty Dunn. “The city has conducted its due diligence on this lead, similar to what has been described in the press. We believe it was a project worth exploring based on the number of new jobs that would have been created and the positive impact to the local economy.”
While the mayor did not name JBS directly, it had been generally reported that JBS was scouting out Pekin.
Area residents raised concerns about the prospect of building a plant near the town. The Peoria Journal Star reported that a group called Citizens for the Future of Pekin opposed the plant. In the end, that action was at least one reason that the talks ended. The citizen group argued that such a plant would likely create dangerous jobs and draw illegal immigrants to the town of about 34,000 residents