RICE -- Considered a "great opportunity", the Benton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 15-year tax abatement request by Performance Food Group.

The Rice food manufacturer is looking at a $12.4-million project that would expand their current facility by 22,500 square-feet.

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The abatement will waive about $600,000 in property taxes for 15 years, with $400,000 being waived at the county level and $200,000 being waived by the city - which was previously approved.

Lloyd Haehnel is the General Manager of the Rice facility. He says the expansion would relocate two of their processing lines while adding new lines to their facility.

Our plan is to purchase two new processing lines and have the ability to operate five lines when we get this project completed.

The expansion would create about 22 new full-time jobs within a two year period at an average wage of $45,000 per year.

With the tax abatement approvals by the city and county, the overall project still needs final approval by the company's corporate headquarters.


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