FAYETTEVILLE, NC – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners plans to reconsider a decision on the construction of a new Sanderson Farms chicken plant proposal next month, said Commissioner Kenneth Edge, chairman of the board in December. According to a report published in the Fayetteville Observer, Edge expects the board to hold a public hearing in January to decide whether to offer tax incentives to the company, which is considering building a $113 million plant in Cedar Creek that would employ about 1,000 people.

Admitting he has no idea how the vote will go, commissioners Glenn Adams and Larry Lancaster joined the board after the November elections. The board informally voted in September 5-2 not to offer incentives. Edge said, "If it's not going to go forward, we need to let the people who live in that community know that. It's not fair to them. It's gone on long enough, and it needs to be settled."

Lancaster said he remains opposed to the project while Adams remains undecided. Edge said he remains opposed to the plant, too.

Many residents and some environmental groups oppose the project over pollution concerns. If built, the plant would require more than 500 new chicken houses, which produce waste that is stored on fields and spread over farms, which critics believe could contaminate waterways. Sanderson Farms has previously pledged to keep the chicken housing out of Cedar Creek. In one recently released report, Douglas Frederick, who is a NC State Univ. forestry professor, said the plant operation would not adversely affect the soil or the Cape Fear River.