Meat Processing Plant Considers County

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The Cannon County Industrial Development Board is a committee of citizens who have volunteered to serve the function of attracting businesses to Cannon County to provide employment, additional tax revenues, and general economic growth.

Diligent effort will be made to search out businesses that have track records of success and are looking for a location to grow or expand their business in a welcoming, friendly community. 

Those several statements comprised the 2012 Mission Statement which was adopted by the Cannon County Industrial Development Board Tuesday night during its regular monthly meeting, which took place at Board Member's David Vance's business of Global Industrial Components.

It didn't take too long for the Board to prove that diligent effort when it invited representatives from an Amarillo, Texas specialty meat processing plant, H&R Foods, to introduce themselves to every board member and the few members of the audience.

Owner Barry Vernon and sales representative Clint Haider along with Mike Wilson let the Board know of their general interest in putting together a small-scale meat processing and food service distribution plant in Cannon County.

Due to the business plan being small and conservative, there would be no immediate plans to do any of the slaughtering at the possible site. The owners are considering Cannon County as one of the locations of their Tennessee operations. 

Other possible locations were not disclosed. The owners will be working with IDB members Neal Applebaum and Doug Bodary to develop a list of all of the items they would need in place, including land, type of building and other items that will allow them to start operations here.

The owners, however, also strongly suggested that no final location has been determined and they could open operations in another county somewhere in the state. 

Board Member Mindy Gunter gave a treasurer’s report and the Board quickly saw where the IDB had lost some of its rent revenue. Due to past “handshake deals” with current tenants in the Board-owned Industrial Properties, rent monies have not been paid.

Crane Interiors pays $7,200 a month rent and it was noted that $16,000 was not collected in the past year due to an agreement that would allow Crane to keep operations going during a lapse in the economy.

Building rent was also not collected on PC Disposal and THC Select, which is housed in the old Cumberland Mold Building. Past IDBs cut handshake deals with THC Select. Those agreements may be in violation of state laws.

THC Select had a handshake deal in place that would keep it from having to pay rent for an extended period of time so the business could get its local operations underway. 

The IDB will ask both THC Select and PC Disposal to fill out a very short Cost Benefit Analysis sheet and turn it in by Friday (Aug. 10).

A motion was made and passed that if the information is not given by then, Chairman Randall Reid would then contact the county attorney to find out what the steps would be toward evicting those tenants. It was noted that eviction is not the wishes of the Board and they hope to have everything resolved in this matter as smoothly as possible.

According to records, THC Select has a rent payment of $5,500 a month while PC Disposals rent fluctuates from $500 to $1,500 a month. The total amount of rent that has not been turned in to the IDB is around $55,000 for the fiscal year July 1st of 2011 to June 30 of 2012.

The Board will work with these tenants so they can start showing positive revenue numbers. 

The Board gave Reid short term co-signing of Board Checks.

The Board also approved giving Crane Interiors an open purchase order of up to $1,500 for any emergency purchase if necessary. Any other modifications to the building or anything else on the property needs to be submitted from here on out to the Industrial Board for approval. In the past, Crane had been making modifications or emergency purchases and taking it off their monthly $7,500 rent payment.

The next IDB meeting will be held September 4 at the Crane Interior Building at 6:00 p.m.

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Members Opinions:
August 08, 2012 at 11:58am
I'm curious to know how many companies the IDB is supposed to be collecting rent from?
August 08, 2012 at 12:46pm
That would most likely depend on the number of buildings they possess, and who is occupying them. I would be interested in a list or some figures as to what businesses are interested in coming to Cannon Co.
August 09, 2012 at 4:12am
This story begs an answer to the question of who has been making the "hand-shake" deals! Has this board authorized one of its own to do such or are these deals made outside the board's awareness?
August 09, 2012 at 11:08am
According to the minutes of IDB meetings:

Jackie Francis, Buddy Davenport, Greg Mitchell and Randall Reid were the IDB members who were present on July 29, 2010 and voted yes to approve the deal to give THC Select one year free rent with option to buy building at fair market price to be negotiated at a later date. The amount of rent agreed on was $5,500 per month.

As yet I have not been able to determine when THC Select first occupied the building.

Jackie Francis, Greg Mitchell, Ricky Cope and Randall Reid were the IDB members who were present at a meeting on September 13, 2010, during which a motion was made by Randall Reid and seconded by Ricky Cope that upon a contract agreement with PC Disposal, “rent for the first 3 months will be $500/month. The next three months, $1,000/month and beginning the 7th month $1,500/month. All in favor.”
August 12, 2012 at 12:48pm
Excuse me is that where they are going to come in Woodbury and kill horses and mess up the water.
August 12, 2012 at 12:52pm
That is a sad thing if that is all the business that Cannon County can come up with
August 12, 2012 at 3:22pm
It states clearly that the slaughtering would be done somewhere else, they are just processing and distributing. It sounds like a different operation.
August 12, 2012 at 4:00pm
it is still sad. Rock crusher first then horse processing wonder what is next.
August 13, 2012 at 11:16am
Again it just says "specialty" meat. Do we know exactly what kind of meat this is? At this time I don't think it would be wise to assume. I don't think that there would be much of a market around here for horse meat. There needs to be some clarification on this I believe.
August 14, 2012 at 3:14pm
They told me today that any where the processing plant is the smell is so bad you can't stay near it.
August 14, 2012 at 3:53pm
Where exactly are they proposing to put it? In town? In an isolated part of the county? Where?
August 15, 2012 at 10:05am
In someones backyard
August 15, 2012 at 12:59pm
Well, more information is needed. It makes no sense to be clammoring for jobs and wanting business and then when one comes knocking to turn it away. I can understand and agree with not putting it in a densely populated area, but if an agreement could be reached to where it was in a reasonably remote area that could be acceptable. I think more information is needed from the company wanting to come here regarding if they have a particular location, sanitary plan, etc. I don't think it would be wise to turn them away without hearing all the information, especially when the county could use the tax money people could use jobs.
August 23, 2012 at 12:13am
We don't even have a Humane Society. Do we have a County Health Department that could monitor this operation? Who regularly inspects? What meat are they "processing" this week? What of that odor Juanita speaks of? Is the site in the industrial park in the middle of freakin town? What about runoff and ground water? Do they plan on pumping sluss in our sewer system that needs to be treated? How about going after a company that makes rocking chairs for Cracker Barrel? (OK dsher, I helped you beat it to death}
August 23, 2012 at 8:31am
lol, that you did. Now if somebody would just answer these questions.
August 23, 2012 at 11:50am
sadly as with our new quarry most of your questions will be answered after the slaughtering "of specialty meats" begins. If they choise Cannon county it will be most likely cause no one else wants them. they will also be in someones backyard, if not mine yours.
August 23, 2012 at 3:09pm
Aren't horses primarily used in dog foods now? Isn't there a huge dog food plant in Lebanon? Proximity to the customer has a lot to do with where some places locate. Saving in transportation improves their profit margin. I, too, think many of the questions already asked need to be answered before we know whether this is a good thing or not. First impressions are not always correct especially when they come from someone wanting to sell us something. In attracting industry, we are trying to sell them on our location and they are trying to sell us on their job opps, boost to the economy, etc. Somewhere beneath all the sales jargon will lie the truth. Caution should guide our county industrial board. Members should go visit similar industries to see what the pitfalls might be if there are questions. And there are questions....
August 24, 2012 at 7:56am
That's what I've been urging all along. There's pros and cons with every business, the board must assess whether the good outweighs the bad. As to the horses comment, again they have not indicated that it is horses (and yes I believe dog food is the primary use, as I don't know of any place you can go to by horse meat for human consumption), just "specialty meats" and I think this needs to be clarified. They have also said the slaughtering WILL NOT take place at this plant just the processing (butchering) and distribution. The venture needs to be given its due diligence, as the county can't afford to turn away businesses without at least weighing all the information. That being said if it is found that this plant will greatly decrease the standard of living so to speak, then yes, it should be passed on, but at least do the research first.
August 24, 2012 at 8:56am
"Due to the business plan being small and conservative, there would be no immediate plans to do any of the slaughtering at the possible site." Key word immediate. Horses are consumed in other countries and there are successful ongoing campaigns to allow inspection therefore consumption in the U.S.. My debate is not if horses should be consumed or not but do I want to live in a slaughter town.
August 24, 2012 at 10:07am
Again I'm not pro or opposed (yet) until more information is made available.
August 25, 2012 at 11:28am
again i believe your answers will only come when the slaughtering has begun and you are downwind
August 25, 2012 at 9:58pm
Can these concerns be passed on to our Industrial Board and County Commission? What is being offered this company in terms of perks to get them interested in locating in Cannon County? How many jobs are being offered locally? How much are these jobs worth to the community economy? Would an environmental impact study be required "before" commitments are made or contracts signed? Will there be other public hearings concerning this business? This company is looking at us but are we also looking at them? Bud raises a great point above with regard to why this company would look at Cannon County. What regulations do we not have that might attract such interests? We could be wide open for maverick companies seeking softer pastures. All those posting on this subject have brought up great questions. Thank you Cannon Courier for offering such a forum as this so issues can be discussed.
August 26, 2012 at 10:59am
if we have any regulations i am sure they are minimal in comparison to neighboring counties. Without codes and regulations i wonder if we could stop them if we wanted to!

i know this will not be a popular statement but with correct planning there is nothing wrong with being a bedroom community with some soft industries. I-24 will attract many companies that rely on distribution and our children can work for or start small businesses to support those industries.

Industry in our county could be a great thing and it could ruin the great life we already have. careful what you wish for
August 29, 2012 at 4:11pm
It is illegal to sell horse meat in the United States. You can slaughter them and send the meat overseas, but you cannot buy horse meat legally in the U.S.

H & R Foods is NOT a horse meat facility and it would not process horse meat at all.

They PACKAGE beef primarily. They stated they could possibly package pork as well, but it depended on the sales. They explained their primary customers would be schools, jails, etc. The beef comes in in slabs and they cut it to size or grind it to make hamburger meat, ribs, roasts, etc.

They were extremely nice people who had an excellent business plan presented before the IDB. I might also add that we are only one of many places they were considering.
August 30, 2012 at 6:11pm
I agree with Bud, very well said.
September 01, 2012 at 7:43am
Seen on news this morning where Murfreesboro. Officials shut down Terrys tranpotation for transporting hourses for another company that had been shut down for the same thing. Just think that Cannon County is thinking about bring this to our county Seen it on channel 5. Do we really need this er is it all for a little money.
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