Case Farms on Monday announced a $126 million renovation and expansion of its Winesburg, Ohio chicken processing facility.

Holmes County commissioners approved an enterprise zone agreement for the project. County officials said the terms of the enterprise agreement are the standard 50 percent reduction in property taxes over 10 years. The tax abatement will cover the property, not the equipment. Property tax assessments are currently under review by the state of Ohio. Once the state grants approval, Case Farms can move forward with construction.

The project involves replacing equipment, renovating the facility, and constructing a 26,000-square-foot addition onto the existing building and a 154,000-square-foot storage freezer that will have the capacity to hold 20 million pounds of poultry. The new facility will enable the site to process about 840,000 pounds of chicken per week.

“In addition, it would include construction of a VRT freezer, which is a freezer that allows the company to freeze their product in 20 to 22 hours,” said Mark Leininger, county economic development director. “It is essentially a flash freezer.” “The new facility would be outfitted to process small birds,” Leininger said. “So, they would be processing more birds in a facility, adding a second shift, and as part of that process, they anticipate retaining 274 full-time permanent employees, as well as adding 193 new permanent full-time employees.”

The cost of the construction is estimated at $65 million, while machinery and equipment is estimated at $41.4 million and inventory of $29 million for a total cost of about $126 million.

“Case Farms is examining expansion at its poultry operations in Winesburg, Ohio to meet the growing demands of customers,” a company representative said in a statement. “We are currently exploring all available economic incentives from JobsOhio, Holmes County and the State of Ohio. The Holmes County Board of County Commissioners approved property tax abatements at its meeting on (Nov. 4). Case Farms representatives attended the meeting to answer any questions from the Holmes County Commissioners. Case Farms is very appreciative of all the help, information, communication and support from the governments and the communities in Winesburg, Holmes County, and the surrounding areas and from the State of Ohio.”

 

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