Thursday, November 19, 2009
The new owners of the former AgriProcessors in Postville received $600,000 in state assistance, plus tax credits, Thursday for a $15 million proposal to update and modernize the Kosher beef and poultry meatpacking plant.
Agri Star Meat & Poultry, owned by Canadian Hershey Friedman, says it will remodel the plant and introduce a new line of oven-baked beef and chicken, state documents show. The company plans to retain 168 jobs and create 140 jobs. Employees will earn at least $11.65 an hour, records show.
The Iowa Economic Development Board agreed to provide the company with $600,000 in loans and grants, plus an estimated $941,652 in tax credits, based on the company’s capital investment in the plant.
The board said incentives are contingent on Agri Star having an approved environmental plan in place and complying with federal immigration laws. In 2008, the plant was the subject of a federal raid that resulted in the arrest of hundreds of immigrant workers who were in the country illegally.
Criminal charges were filed against most of the workers and the plant’s former owner, Sholom Rubashkin, who was convicted of 86 federal financial fraud charges last week.
Board member Robert Riley said the plant is important to the northeast Iowa community and state. The company said will process about 500 cattle each day. “The cattle processing capacity is essential for Iowa,” said Riley.
The company also received $145,000 in local tax abatements over five years and $50,000 in state job-training assistance.
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