Waterloo Mayor on local Tyson expansion: Win-win - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Mayor on local Tyson expansion: Win-win

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Tyson Foods is here to stay in the Cedar Valley, and adding hundreds of new jobs.  The Waterloo pork plant, which already employs several thousand area workers, has chosen to expand operations with a $28 million dollar renovation and expansion project.

The multi-million dollar project will include a new 56,000 square foot distribution warehouse and an update to an existing 18,000 square foot area of the plant.

The company announced the expansion Friday, after the state approved a $2 million dollar tax credit.  During Monday's Waterloo City Council meeting, the council voted to make the required city match with a tax abatement plan.

The city's abatement plan means that, over the next five years, the project's added value in taxes will be incrementally added to Tyson's annual taxes, instead of the company seeing the total increase in one year.  Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart called the expansion a win-win.

"We are talking about 245 new jobs ranging from $17-$34/hour, so this is great for our community," said Hart.

With Tyson looking at other possible states for this project, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber President/CEO Steve Dust applauds the city for securing the project.

"It is by far the largest job generation Tyson has had in the state in many years, decades. It shouldn't be lost that, just because they are building distribution space with this investment, the other 18,000 square feet is being better equipped for new products," said Dust.

Tyson is looking to move quickly on the project.  Mayor Hart says people can expect to see the new positions open up within the next six months.

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