In order to “expand their operations” Tyson Fresh Meats, in Perry, would need access to an area north of their factory. This area would go into Raccoon River Valley Trail right-of-way property and they were seeking an easement. The easement went on to be approved at the next meeting on May 23.
Prior to the idea being brought before the Dallas County Board of Supervisors at their May 16 meeting, the Dallas County Conservation Board did approve the easement, contingent upon Tyson’s willingness to pay for the easement and the relocation of the trail, said Dallas County Conservation Director Mike Wallace at the May 16 meeting.
The cost of the easement to Tyson is $1 per square foot, which comes out to $26,348.
Brady Welu, project manager for Tyson, was in attendance for the public hearing on May 16, and again when they continued the hearing at the meeting on May 23. He spoke a little about what the project would entail and what the process would be like.
He said that they would be looking to add about 13,000 square feet to the north side of the plant. This would also require an area that would allow easier truck access.
“This easement would be for a kind of trapazoidal shape area on the north side of the plant that we’d fence around with a privacy fence that we would use to get trucks around the new building to the other side of the plant,” Welu said. “In this easement, it’s written that we would never build anything on it, but we would control the dust, we’ll gravel it. We’re not going to park trailors there, we’re just going to use it to drive around.”
Wallace mentioned that this would not be all that is needed for Tyson to be able to proceed forward with their project, and that they would also need an approved easement from the City of Perry, which has not yet happened. The Supervisors were still able able to approve the easement since it was contingent on the City of Perry’s approval as well.
Wallace said that this plan will actually be better for the trail, stating that the trail would be farther away from the plant and there are already some trees in the area that they can take advantage of.
“Plus, they are going to be planting quite a few trees as part of the project as well, and then the actual chainlink fenced-in area will have a privacy slot,” Wallace said. “So we’re getting futher away from the plant, so it will be a much more visual-appealing route for the trail users, so that’s a major positive for us being involved in this.”
Tyson is still awaiting easement approval from the Perry City Council, which could be brought up at a future meeting. The next Perry City Council meeting is on Monday, June 5.