Sanderson Farms search for a site for its next poultry-processing plant continues even as local opposition to the project goes to court to try to stop it.
The Mississippi company has not purchased any property and is still in discussions with the state Department of Commerce, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local officials in Nash and Wayne counties, said Mike Cockrell, Sanderson's chief financial officer.
"We are still doing our due diligence," he said this week. "We haven't purchased any property yet."
The Nash County Board of Commissioners recently rezoned a site in southern Nash County that it homes Sanderson will select.
Sanderson needs about 1,000 acres where it can build a processing plant and a spray field for the plant's treated wastewater.
The city of Wilson and more than 30 nearby property owners in Wilson and Nash counties have filed a lawsuit against Nash County alleging that the rezoning violated state laws.
The site is near the Wilson County line.
Sanderson had originally focused its search on Wayne County but later expanded it farther north into Nash County.
Sanderson's $106 million plant is expected to employ up to 1,500 people. It will be the company's second facility in North Carolina.
Sanderson is building a similar chicken-processing complex in Kinston that is scheduled to open in January.
The North Carolina plants will give Sanderson access to markets and customers in the Northeast.