Meat packer considering move to area

By William Thompson: Freedom Newspapers

A major meat packer is considering opening a plant in Clovis or Tucumcari, according to Pete Kampfer, Tucumcari’s economic development director.

Kampfer told Tucumcari city commissioners on Thursday that the plant would employ about 1,600 workers. He declined to name the company because he said negotiations are ongoing and confidential.

He said the company “could make a decision next week or they could wait six months.”

Kampfer declined to discuss incentives Tucumcari may be offering. He said city commissioners would have to give approval before any agreements could be finalized.

Chase Gentry of the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation said he was “not at liberty to disclose” any information about a proposed meat-packing plant.

Kampfer told Tucumcari commissioners that officials with the meat-packing company are wanting to know how the Tucumcari area could supply 1,600 workers.

“I told them that we could get people from Clovis and Amarillo to come here to work,” Kampfer said. “We have a lot of legwork to do.”

Kampfer said Clovis will argue that it needs the plant, especially if Cannon Air Force Base closes, as proposed by the Department of Defense. But he said Tucumcari can make a strong pitch for the company.

If constructed in Tucumcari, the plant would be built outside the city limits.

“We will need (a) railroad spur in place. We have the money for the railroad spur,” Kampfer said.

The railroad spur would be a section of Union-Pacific railroad track that would eventually link various industries to existing track. Tucumcari has $1.3 million set aside for the railroad spur.

Kampfer said he expects the railroad spur to be completed within 18 months.

“The city must have a railroad spur in order to attract a meat-packing plant of this magnitude,” he said.

Clovis News Journal staff writer Ryn Gargulinski contributed to this report.