NORTH PLATTE, NEB. – On Dec. 7, the city council of North Platte, Neb., unanimously approved the plans for a new beef processing facility that Sustainable Beef LLC will operate.

The project, which was first introduced in March, will build a 300,000-square-foot plant that will cost more than $300 million. When completed and fully operational, Sustainable Beef expects to employ 875 people and slaughter 1,500 head of cattle per day.

Last week, the Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA) of North Platte approved a $21.5 million tax increment financing (TIF) bond. A cost-benefit analysis by Ernie Goss, an economist from Creighton University, was also approved for the beef plant by the CRA. The study said the plant could have more than $1 billion in economic impact. 

Before construction can begin, a Nebraska law requires a 30-day pause on a project before the TIF redevelopment contract can be completed. The new plant will be built on a former wastewater treatment lagoon. The land was appraised for $142,500.

David Briggs, chief executive officer for Sustainable Beef, addressed the council throughout the meeting. He said the company has its lender secured for the project and that 23 cattle supply contracts have been signed for the new plant. 

Briggs forecasted that construction for the project would take two years to complete. 

Fort Morgan, Colo.-based Schmeeckle Brothers Construction will be building the facility. Briggs said this would be the 17th plant the construction company has built. 

During the public city council meeting, speakers discussed concerns about the plant, including the construction of new access roads and local ordinances on odors.