WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Its been more than two months since it was announced that Tyson could possibly be bringing its operations to Sedgwick county.
However, one Sedgwick County Commissioner spoke out today, saying he feels that isn’t likely to happen.
District 4 Commissioner Richard Ranzau says he was told last Friday that the Greater Wichita Partnership was informed by the state of Kansas, that we do not have support for incentives here in Sedgwick County to lure Tyson here.
Ranzau says he has been non-commital on Tyson from the beginning, with incentives tied to bringing Tyson here as a reason.
“I told Commissioner O’Donnell when he first brought this up to me that I wouldn’t likely support incentives, because that has been my position all along as a commissioner, I think companies like this that make billions of dollars should be able to pay their taxes and be able to pay for their buildings,” said Ranzau.
He says the incentives he knows about are industrial revenue bonds and water infrastructure.
It’s something that he feels the county doesn’t support to try and bring a chicken facility to Sedgwick County.
“I think that’s the position of the county in general that we are not going to be supportive of incentives for Tyson, so that, more than likely means it is not going to go anywhere,” said Ranzau.
With many people voicing their concerns and support for Tyson possibly coming here, Ranzau felt it was important to speak out now.
“I felt bad because they were showing up again today obviously very concerned about this, I didn’t think it was right sitting up there knowing that this is likely not to go anywhere,” said Ranzau.
Robin Ragland Smith, a spokeswoman with No Tyson Sedgwick County say while this is positive news, they aren’t willing to stop their fight to keep Tyson from coming just yet.
“I think it is very encouraging, however, we are not popping champagne corks quite yet, I think until we hear something official from the commission as a whole we are not going to put our signs away,” said Ragland Smith.
KSN did reach out to other commissioners and the Greater Wichita Partnership, who weren’t willing to comment at this time.
Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman released a statement saying:
“Our project in kansas is on hold, we continue to evaluate communities inside and outside of Kansas where we would potentially like to invest to meet demand for our products.”
Ranzau says he expects an announcement to be made about Tyson on Friday.