Sedgwick County out of running for Tyson chicken plant

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, file photo, a Tyson Foods, Inc., truck is parked at a food warehouse in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Greater Wichita Partnership on Thursday announced that there is not support in Sedgwick County for incentives and that the county has taken itself out of the running, confirming what District 4 Commissioner Richard Ranzau told KSN-TV Wednesday.

The group issued the following statement Thursday morning:

Through preliminary research and discussions with key partners, it has become clear there is not support in Sedgwick County for incentives for this project at this time. Given this information we thought it was best for the project team to let state partners know that Sedgwick County would likely not be competitive for this particular project.

“The Partnership has done excellent work gathering information and analyzing this potential project,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell. “However, the marketplace for new jobs especially at this level is very competitive and no community has unlimited resources. That means every community has to make decisions on when and where in the marketplace to compete. Sedgwick County has communicated to our state partners that this is one of those times when we need to focus our energy and resources on other economic development opportunities. We wish Tyson, the State of Kansas and especially all other communities who compete for this project the best. Tyson Foods already has many jobs and sites throughout Kansas and those communities greatly value the company’s investment and commitment. We believe this will be another one of those opportunities for a Kansas county.”

Part of the Partnership’s role is to conduct analysis of and discussions of all potential projects. When it comes to public investment in any of those potential projects, we respect that it’s the role of elected officials to determine when and if public investments are made. The positive news is that our staff is working on multiple projects in a variety of industries, and we are seeing increased interest in the opportunities available within our region. Agriculture continues to be an important industry cluster within our region and is an integral part of our community’s Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) plan. It’s also important to note that local governments do not provide investments or incentives for all projects. We will continue to compete as aggressively as possible for economic development opportunities for this area and will work with our state and local partners to grow our region.