Hill’s Pet Nutrition will build a 300,000 square foot pet food plant in Emporia, Kansas. This will be the third pet food plant in Emporia (there must be something in the air there). If approved for rezoning, Hills will be just a short distance away from Menu Foods.
In addition to Hill’s and Menu Foods, Emporia Pet Products is located in the area. This plant was taken over by American Nutrition in April.
Emporia beat out numerous other cities for the new plant including Topeka, where Hill’s headquarters is located. The pet food plant will bring 100 manufacturing jobs and will be located on an 80-acre site. Hill’s is the 11th largest private employer in town and the 16th largest overall. The company is planning to put in about $100 million into the plant.
More about the new plant in Emporia after the jump.
â€œKansas has been home to Hillâ€™s for more than 60 years and we look forward to expanding our presence here to support the continuing growth of our business,â€ company president Justin Skala said in a prepared statement. â€œThis was a rigorous year-long process and we greatly appreciate the assistance we received from state and local officials.â€
The Legislature passed a bill earlier this year, Senate Bill 240, to try to keep a new Hillâ€™s plant in the state. The bill offers an income tax break to manufacturers that locate in Kansas by the end of 2009 if they invest at least $100 million in a plant, employ at least 100 people and pay better than average wages. Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed the bill on March 20.
The move was designed to make Kansas more competitive with surrounding states. The bill was supported by Hillâ€™s and the Topeka chamber of commerce.