Triumph Foods expanding in Missouri; East Moline plant on hold

Originally Posted Online: May 13, 2013, 6:35 pm
Last Updated: May 13, 2013, 9:50 pm
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By Anthony Watt,

Triumph Foods has announced an expansion of its Missouri plant, while its proposed hog-processing plant near East Moline still appears to be on hold.

The St. Joseph News-Press reported Thursday the St. Joseph, Mo.-based company is planning a $7.5 million expansion of its plant there. The expansion is expected to include an 11,000-square-foot addition to the plant and equipment purchases.

This would be the second expansion of the St. Joseph plant.In October 2012, Triumph announced a 30,000-square-foot expansion there estimated to cost $9.5 million to add more refrigerated space for export product.

An East Moline branch of Triumph first was proposed in 2005 near 172nd Street North and Barstow Road. In May 2007, Triumph bought the property, which later was annexed into East Moline.

The project has not yet broken ground.

There have been at least two pauses in the progress of the East Moline expansion.

The first came in 2008 when the economy took a dive.In early 2012, the economy showed signs of improvement, and the East Moline City Council voted to hire Kane, McKenna and Associates Inc., of Chicago, to negotiate an updated development agreement between the city and Triumph. Larry Anderson, president of East Moline Glass Co., donated the $10,000 to hire Kane.

But a few months later, city officials said Triumph again had placed the potential $200 million project on hold.

On Monday, East Moline Mayor John Thodos said he has had no contact with Triumph for about a year.

"We'll just sit in a holding pattern," he said. "Whenever they're ready, that's fine."

Representatives of the Quad Cities Chamber spoke with Triumph officials earlier this year, said Bill Martin, vice president for economic development at the chamber.At that time, Triumph said it had no plans for a new facility, Mr. Martin said.

A Triumph spokesman did not return a call for comment on Monday.

Reception of the East Moline project has been mixed.Supporters tout 2,500 direct jobs that could come if the plant is built -- as well as jobs created by support services, such as security, cafeteria and laundry services -- and increased tax revenue for the city.

Opponents argue a hog-processing plant could pollute the Rock River, destroy wetlands, emit bad odors and adversely affect the flood plain. They also are concerned about air pollution from particulate matter and bacteria caused by increased plant traffic, which, in one claim, could be as many as 250 semitrailers daily.


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn.
1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.

(More History)