TONGNOXIE, Kan. (WIBW) – Hill’s Pet Nutrition will build a new wet food plant in Tonganoxie, which will create 80 new jobs in Kansas.
Governor Laura Kelly said Hill’s Pet Nutrition plans to build a new pet food manufacturing plant in Tonganoxie. She said the new 300,000 square foot building will cost more than $ 250 million to build and create at least 80 new jobs in the community by 2025.
“Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s decision to invest $ 250 million in Kansas and create 80 new jobs in Tonganoxie is further proof that the Kansas Animal Health Corridor can compete with any region in the world for these investments and jobs in the industry, ”Governor Laura Kelly said. “With our central location, talented workforce and reputation as a global leader in animal health and science, our partnership with Hill’s is a given. “
Hill’s said it chose Tonganoxie for its new plant because of the location’s industrial park, strong community partnerships, strength of the workforce and proximity to distribution requirements. He also said that a major benefit to doing business in Kansas was being part of the KC Animal Health Corridor, which is home to more than 300 animal health companies and is the largest concentration in the world. He said the KC Animal Health Corridor currently accounts for 56% of all global sales of animal health, diagnostics and feed products.
“Hill’s Pet Nutrition is excited to develop its roots in Kansas. We have been part of the community for almost 80 years and this new facility will help us fulfill our mission of enriching and extending the special relationships between humans and their pets by providing them with high quality food ”, Jesper Nordengaard , president of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, said.
Almost four years ago, the city strongly opposed the Tyson Foods construction project in Tonganoxie. Residents still have strong feelings about it, but some see a difference with Hill’s.
Bambi Dome from Tonganoxie said, “Poultry just isn’t good when it’s wasted like that and it goes through our waters, rivers and everything, it’s just not good. Dog food, it kind of absorbs everything, and birds eat it so I think it’s biodegradable.
Resident Madisen Lansing said he heard it could be difficult for landowners nearby.
“I’ve certainly heard things about the occupied space and the fact that a lot more people are moving into the city, you know. It’s kind of a small town, obviously we love our small town vibe. I think the concern is that the city is really going to explode, there are going to be a lot of people moving in.
Dome and Lansing both want them to build this and drive growth, but are asking city leaders to be patient before bringing in another company.
“I mean there are going to be pros and cons to anything you do,” Dome said. “For me, I think it’s a good idea.
Lansing said, “I don’t think it should be anything that leads to more,” ‘oh, we’re going to build this factory, we’re going to build more and more,’ I think that would be a good opportunity to see how it goes when they build this.
According to Governor Kelly, plans for the new wet pet food processing plant call for an upgraded version of its plant in Topeka, the only other Hill’s plant in the world that produces canned pet food. She said no slaughtering or rendering of meat would take place at the new plant, as the meat would arrive at the facility frozen and remain canned.
“Kansas’ expertise and prime location for animal health leaders is undeniable, and this planned investment by Hill’s is proof of that,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “Thank you to Hill’s for continuing to set the standard for animal health and pet food manufacturing in Kansas. Our partnership with Hill’s is a source of pride for our state, and I am very proud to see this partnership continue to grow even stronger.
Governor Kelly said Hill’s is committed to environmentally friendly initiatives, with three facilities achieving “Zero Waste to Landfill” status. She said the company announced in 2019 that it hopes to make all product packaging 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and use at least 25% recycled content to produce its pet food packaging. of company.
“We are delighted to welcome a quality company like Hill’s Pet Nutrition to Tonganoxie,” said Steve Jack, Executive Director of Leavenworth County Development Corporation. “This project will represent the largest capital investment ever made by a Leavenworth County manufacturer. We would like to recognize the vision and investment the city and county have made in building the business park to enable us to take advantage of such a great opportunity.
According to Governor Kelly, the company has yet to complete planning and zoning procedures and public hearings to review the proposed tax abatement. When completed, she said construction is expected to start in 2021 and be completed in 2023.
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