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Costco approves building chicken plant in Nebraska

FREMONT, Neb. — Costco officials have given final approval for construction of the company’s planned chicken processing operation in eastern Nebraska.

Company Vice President of real estate Jackie Frank told the Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday that site work could begin in the next few weeks. A ceremonial groundbreaking is also planned for June.

Costco would invest about $280 million to build the plant, hatchery and feed mill complex. Supporters say area farmers would raise chickens to be slaughtered at the facility, a system that could generate about $1.2 billion annually for the eastern Nebraska economy.

Opponents of the plant expressed concerns in a series of Fremont city meetings last year, some speaking out on how the chicken industry treats farmers as a disposable resource.  The plant is projected to open April 2019.

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