Public forum scheduled on Tyson Food $320M poultry plant proposal in Tonganoxie

Protesters line the sidewalks in downtown Tonganoxie as Tyson Foods Inc., announced plans to build a $320 million chicken-processing plant near the town, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. The plant is expected to employ up to 1,600 people, processing as many as 1.25 million birds per week (Peter Hancock/The Journal-World via AP)

TONGANOXIE, Kan. — Three state lawmakers who represent parts of Leavenworth County have scheduled a public forum to discuss a proposal from Tyson Foods Inc. to build a massive poultry processing complex near Tonganoxie.

The forum comes amid opposition to the plant from Tonganoxie residents. The $320 million plant is expected to bring 1,600 jobs to a town of about 5,000 residents.

Opponents say the plant could also bring smells, perhaps double the size of the school district and cause environmental problems. The Lawrence Journal-World reports residents also are upset that discussions about the proposal were kept secret until it was announced last week.

Sen. Tom Holland and Reps. Jim Karleskint and Willie Dove will co-host the forum at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cheiftain Park in Tonganoxie.