Gering residents voice opposition about meat plant; lack of tran - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Gering residents voice opposition about meat plant; lack of transparency

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More than 80 Gering residents flock to a special town hall meeting to voice their opposition to a proposed meat packing facility, and the lack of transparency provided by city officials.

Last month, it was revealed that a city employee was approved to use nearly three thousand dollars to pay for a trip to Asia with an investor group to investigate the possibility of bringing a meat processing plant to Gering.

On Thursday night, council members Jill McFarland and Troy Cowan hosted a town hall meeting to address the issue.

Both of them say they were left in the dark about this trip, and are outraged of what is happening behind closed doors.

"If the investor group is credible, and the project is viable, I can see no reason why you wouldn't be willing to bring this information forward," said McFarland.

The council members aren't the only people outraged. The majority of people in attendance clearly stated that they don't want 'Future Food Energy' coming to region, and are livid about the actions behind closed doors.

"If you can't come to your people and say this is what we're thinking about, this is kind of where we're going, what do you guys think about this- you got no business messing there," said Robin Kinney.

"It is shameful to be part of this city," added Matthew Kautz. "With lies, deceit, and secrets among us."

At least one person in attendance was not opposed to the trip. "I would like to commend the Gering City Administration and the people that are doing this background work and looking into opportunities for economic growth," stated Jeana Harms.

Some of that background work was done already by Twin Cities Development when the project was pitched to the City of Scottsbluff.

They decided not to bring the meat processing plant to town.

"We're two separate towns, but we're one big community," said Council Member Rebecca Shields. "So if its not good for them and I don't think its going to be good for us."

The opposition was mainly directed towards Mayor Ed Mayo and City Administrator Lane Danielzuk.

"It's not hard to connect dots, ladies and gentlemen," said Brad Mody. "It's really not- so I wish someone would follow through and not just sweep it under the rug."

Longtime Gering resident Bubba Anthony compared the matter to the city being a public traded group on the stock market. "If you were on the board of directors on a publicly traded company on the NYSE. Board of directors (City Council). You're the shareholders (the residents of Gering), and your CFO and CEO (Mayor and Administrator)did some actions that have recently happened- what would you do?"

Many of these issues will be readdressed in the next Gering City Council meeting on April 14th.

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