US – Cargill has made plans to make a US$32 million investment in its turkey production facility, where the officials hoped the city would be able to gobble up the economic benefits.

According to Tim Loesch, Cargill communications director, the Temple facility at 251 Berger Road is currently designed to produce bulk turkey feed.

The investment will add the capability for agricultural retail and beef customers. Construction will begin in March and is projected to be complete early next year.

James Jarzombek, Cargill U.S. business leader for feed and nutrition, said Temple’s central location and transportation infrastructure made it an ideal candidate for such an expansion.

“Temple, Texas, is an optimal location as it is strategically located with access to key population centers,” Jarzombek said.

“It is in close proximity to the cattle density, and is supported with both rail and interstate access for inbound and outbound products.”

Since Cargill has operated in Temple since 1998, Jarzombek said the expansion would include additional manufacturing, packaging, warehousing and shipping capabilities.

David Blackburn, Temple Economic Development Corp. president said that while much of the focus is placed on new companies coming to the area, the bulk of economic growth comes from investments made by existing companies.

“We do talk a lot about investing resources in new companies to invest and grow in Temple, but the reality is, the vast majority of capital expansion, capital improvement and job growth in the community is all related to existing companies growing and investing their capital,” said Blackburn, the only announced candidate for Bell County judge.

“It represents a huge mark of confidence by the company in not only what they’re doing, but where they’re doing it.

We’re very pleased to see that occur.”

The company also received 10-year tax abatement last October from the Temple City Council, with an agreement which is 100% abatement for the first five years and 50% abatement for the remaining five years.

As part of the agreement, the city will contribute US$500,000 towards the construction of public improvements to Berger Road.

The company currently sees about 30 trucks come through the facility per day, but with the expansion, that number is expected to swell to about 180 over the next 10 years.

Blackburn said such incentives are offered by the city or the TEDC when a company makes investments that will have a high rate of return.

“What we typically consider when we run an economic impact analysis is what the rate of return is for any kind of investment the city or EDC makes and how quickly that will return to us,’ Blackburn said.

By multiplying the city’s current tax rate by the amount of Cargill’s capital investment, Blackburn determined that a US$30 million expansion would roughly generate US$206,160 per year in property tax revenue.

Temple Finance Director Traci Barnard pointed out that such investments do not necessarily equate to taxable value, but regardless, Blackburn believes the investments will pay off for the city.

“A US$30-plus million capital investment has a very significant and a very good investment for the community,” Blackburn said.

“It speaks volumes when a private company is willing to invest in capital at that level.

It really does highlight the assets that they see in place and how successful they think they can be in the community.”

Cargill currently employs 15 people at its Temple facility and expects to add 30 more jobs throughout the expansion.