The new owners of the former Agriprocessors in Postville received $600,000 in state assistance Thursday for a $15 million proposal to expand and modernize the kosher beef and poultry packing plant.
Agri Star Meat & Poultry, owned by Canadian Hershey Friedman, says it plans to remodel the plant and introduce a new line of oven-baked beef and chicken, state documents show. The company plans to retain 168 jobs and create 140 jobs. Employees would earn at least $11.65 an hour, records show.
The Iowa Economic Development Board agreed to provide the company with a $300,000 low-interest loan and $300,000 forgivable loan, plus an estimated $941,652 in tax credits, based primarily on the company’s investment in the plant.
The board said incentives are contingent on Agri Star having an approved environmental plan in place and complying with immigration laws. In 2008, the plant was the subject of a federal raid that resulted in the arrest of hundreds of immigrant workers who were in the country illegally.
Criminal charges were filed against most of the workers and the plant’s former leader, Sholom Rubashkin, who was convicted of 86 federal financial fraud charges last week. Federal prosecutors dismissed all immigration charges against Rubashkin on Thursday.
Board member Robert Riley said the plant is important to the northeast Iowa region and the state. The company plans to process about 500 cattle each day. “The cattle processing capacity is essential in Iowa,” Riley said.
The company also would receive $145,000 in local property tax abatement over five years and $50,000 in state job training assistance.
The board also provided tax credits to these companies Thursday:
– Family-owned Von Maur plans an $8.7 million office building and warehouse-distribution facility in Davenport to support growth of its online business. The company seeks $906,355 in estimated tax credits based on its capital investment. The company says it will create two jobs and retain eight. The jobs will pay at least $15.25 an hour. The company also expects to receive about $2.6 million in local tax-increment financing.
– Kraft Foods is weighing a $25 million expansion of its Davenport plant, based on increasing demand for its products. The company seeks an estimated $1.5 million in tax credits. The project would create 45 jobs that pay at least $15.25 an hour. Kraft is one of the largest employers in Davenport.
– Gannett Satellite Information Networks proposes a $1 million expansion of its regional toning center in Des Moines. The group, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Gannett Co., primarily provides in-house production services to The Des Moines Register and other Gannett papers, but seeks to gradually expand its third-party production services to independent newspapers and printers.
The company would qualify for an estimated $97,366 in tax credits based primarily on capital investment and $400,000 in job training assistance. The company would add 20 jobs and retain six, records show. The jobs would pay at least $16.08 an hour.