The Chatham County Commissioners have unanimously voted to approve an incentives package to expand the Townsend Processing Facility that will add over 700 jobs in Siler City.

In May, Mountaire Farms announced they would purchase the former Townsend Processing Facility in Siler City for renovation. The cost would be $70 million for its opening in February 2018.

In 2011, the Townsend plant closed, resulting in 550 workers being laid off.

After a presentation by Mountaire Vice President Mike Tirrell, Commissioner Walter Petty immediately made a motion to approve a local incentives package worth $2.3 million over six years.

“There’s a lot of family farms that were devastated by the Townsend closing,” said Petty. “This will help reestablish the security of some of these family farms. I think it’s good for Chatham County. I think it’s good for the farmers. I think it would be good for the employees located in the county.”

Tirrell says the entire facility is gutted at this point.

“Right now, we’re knocking down the pieces that are of no use to us,” said Tirrell. “The wires are out. The pipes are out. It’s just a concrete shell. We’re making big rocks into little rocks right now to haul away. Then, we’re going to build a state-of-the-art food processing facility in that location.”

The estimated increase for property tax revenue would be $428,903.

When Mountaire announced plans for the project in May, the original projection was for around 500 jobs to be created. Now, that’s been revised, according to Kyle Touchstone, the President of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation.

“There will be 700 new employees with $19.5 million in annual wages that they’re estimating at this point,” said Touchstone. “The analysis is showing exactly $188 million in estimated sales.”

The multiplied economic activity generated by both project’s sales, employees and salaries will bring in an additional $505,124 in estimated local tax revenue annually.

Mountaire is a Delaware-based poultry processing plant that runs a similar plant south of Fayetteville.