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Cheyenne Mayor: Water, Housing Issues Make Packing Plant Bad Fit

Selection of different cuts of fresh raw red meat in a supermarket

Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins says potential issues with water and housing add up to a proposed meat packing plant not being a good fit for Cheyenne.

The mayor made the comments in his weekly “Mayor’s Minute’ column on Friday. Collins in his Sept. 16 Mayor’s Minute had mentioned the possibility of a $1.1 Billion dollar plant being located in the Swan Ranch Business Park.

The mayor at that time wrote that the facility could bring as many as 2,500 jobs to the area. The mayor at that time said the plant if built, would be one of the largest such facilities in the United States and could be constructed in such a way as to avoid the unpleasant odors often associated with packing plants.

But in revisiting the idea in his Sept. 23 column, the mayor pumped the brakes on the meat packing plant, writing the following:

”Today I attended a meeting with the Wyoming Business Council and LEADS to discuss the proposed meat packing plant. I shared my real concerns at the plant’s requirements for 3000-acre feet of water per year, and how we would handle the housing for the proposed 2500 new employees. In the end we determined the meat packing plant would not be a good fit for Cheyenne and Wyoming. We just don’t have the infrastructure to support this business venture. By the way, 3000 acre-feet of water is 977,550,000 gallons of water a year.”

Housing has been an economic development issue in Cheyenne for many years.

Collins, in a separate part of his column on Friday dealing with efforts to bring affordable housing to Cheyenne said “thousands” of housing units are needed to meet existing needs.

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