BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Ozark Mountain Poultry plans to expand its operation and bring new jobs to Independence County.
The company received a $2.2 million grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
The grant will help Ozark Mountain expand, bringing jobs to Batesville and Independence County. The company will open a feed mill and production line in Magness, a small town 12 miles south of Batesville.
Batesville city leaders are excited. "We are set for growth and set for industry here in Batesville," Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said.
According to Elumbaugh, Ozark's expansion will have a trickle-down effect in the county. "It gives so much promise to our community when you have someone like [Ozark Mountain Poultry] that wants to invest in it," Elumbaugh said
The expansion will bring 225 jobs to the area.
"Those jobs reach out farther than just the jobs," Elumbaugh said. "You know, our hardware stores our poultry manufacturers."
Bob Stroud, chairman of the Independence County Economic Development Board, agreed the new facility will be a huge benefit.
"It helps our local farmers who provide grain that the poultry industry needs," Stroud said. "They in turn provide jobs that will help the people who live in this area."
Elumbaugh said growth helps retailers, which increases sales tax revenue for the city.
"Any type of growth is going to be positive," Elumbaugh said. "I don't care if it's in the city of Batesville or Independence County or the outlying counties."
Stroud believes other businesses and industries will be interested in coming to Independence County once they see the growth.
"People like to see success, and they like to build on that success and other ventures," Stroud said. "If your payroll increases then, theoretically, that's more disposable income that will be spent in the area and that will have a multiplier effect."
Elumbaugh said the plant should be up and running by the end of the year.