GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — After months of pushback from the community over a proposed chicken rendering plant that was set to be built in Gadsden, the company has decided to move on.
In documents filed in Etowah County Thursday, Pilgrim’s Pride asked a judge to dismiss the case about trying to build the plant, adding that they were no longer seeking to build the plant in town.
Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs for Pilgrim’s Pride, released the following statement on the company’s decision to not build in Gadsden:
“Pilgrim’s regrets that it will not have the opportunity to contribute to the economic development of Gadsden. While we remain confident in the merits of our proposed project, the Gadsden Airport Authority’s recent vote makes it clear there is no interest in selling or leasing its land for economic development. As such, Pilgrim’s has filed motions with Etowah County Court to dismiss pending litigation and we will no longer pursue our proposed project with the Gadsden Airport Authority. We thank the many citizens and public officials who gave our company fair and due consideration throughout this process.”
The plant’s decision to stop its project comes after months of fights with the community over the plant, many of whom said they didn’t want it and that it would cause problems for the community.
“We recognize it is a vital industry and it is an industry somebody is going to have to do somewhere. We just question why it is in this location in an area that has a high concentration of businesses, churches, and schools,” State Sen. Andrew Jones told CBS 42 last November.
Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton expressed disappointment that Pilgrim’s Pride would not be able to come to the area. Guyton blamed the group Advance Etowah for putting negative publicity on the project, adding that their concerns were overblown.
“It was just all a big con job and it got killed before it ever got off the ground,” Guyton said.