Chandler Keys, a spokesperson for JBS USA/Swift, has contacted LEO to deflate rumors that his company has plans to augment slaughtering facilities in the Butchertown neighborhood.
“We have no plans for expanding our Louisville plant,” he said in a phone interview, adding that the planned Marshalltown, IA, distribution center isn’t reflective of a broader effort to bolster Swift’s national pork production capabilities. “Besides, there’s no room for us to expand” in Butchertown. He also went on to say that the latest point of contention with the neighborhood — the illegal installation of a new “hog chute” — was the result of a contractor failing to obtain the correct building permits, which caused issues with Louisville’s BOZA.
Although this doesn’t expunge the fact that they allowed this to happen beyond the purview of BOZA, safety inspectors and the Butchertown Neighborhood Association, Keys’ statement — if it holds true — could prove prophetic. Swift’s commitment to build 150,000 square feet of new facility outside of Butchertown illustrates that maybe the company is seeking greener pastures beyond Louisville. Or perhaps Iowans don’t bitch as effectively.