Originally Posted Online: May 05, 2010, 5:54 pm
Last Updated: May 05, 2010, 10:56 pm
Lawmakers trying to get Triumph back on track in East Moline
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By Lindsay Hocker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elected officials hope to get long-delayed plans for an East Moline hog-processing plant back on track.
Rep. Phil Hare, D-Rock Island, said in an e-mail that the U.S. Department of Commerce is considering Economic Development Administration funding to help with the project, and he and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are working to secure a Department of Agriculture Rural Development Business and Industry Loan Guarantee.
According to a USDA website at www.rurdev.usda.gov, the program guarantees losses of up to a certain percentage of loans. Loans can be guaranteed in rural cities with populations of 50,000 or less, with priority given to applications for loans in communities of 25,000 or less. EastMoline has an estimated population of about 23,000.
In October 2008, Triumph announced the East Moline project indefinitely on hold because of the poor economy.
In December of 2005, the St. Joseph, Mo.-based company unveiled a plan to build a plant at 172nd Street North and Barstow Road. In May of 2007, thecompany bought the land.
At last report, building construction was estimated at $135 million to $160 million.
East Moline Mayor John Thodos said he's glad people at the federal level are showing support for the project. He said it shows all levels of government "understand jobs are what this country needs right now."
MayorThodos said Triumph Foods could eventually employ 2,500 people at the plant, and other jobs would be created when the company out-sourced services such as security, and cafeteria and laundry services.
The city would greatly benefit from the tax revenue it would receive from a company the size of Triumph, the mayor said.
He knows there are people who oppose the project because of environmental concerns.
However, he said when the plan was first proposed, it made economic sense to the city, and "it definitely makes a heck of a lot of economic sense to us now."
Triumph officials did not return calls for comment Wednesday.