LAUREL, Miss. – The Laurel City Council by a 5-2 vote granted Wayne Farms LLC a tax exemption of $5.7 million over five years. The company originally has requested an exemption of $9 million over 10 years.
The plant produces whole legs, boneless thighs, boneless whole leg meat, wings and boneless chicken breasts, according to a company fact sheet. The 89,400-sq.-ft. plant sits on 24.71 acres and has a processing capacity of 650,000 birds per week. In 2013, Wayne Farms invested $3 million to add new processing lines to the Laurel plant.
In February, Oakwood, Georgia-based Wayne Farms said it would close the poultry deboning lines at the company’s Laurel poultry processing plant. The company said at the time that one customer contracted for the plant’s entire output, but wanted only whole birds. The line closure affected about 500 workers, approximately half the workforce at the plant.
Wayne Farms is a unit of New York-based Continental Grain Co. The poultry processor has facilities in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina. Combined, the plants process approximately 5 billion lbs. of poultry products per year.