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Public backlash after Gov. Brownback announces new Tyson chicken plant in Tonganoxie

TONGANOXIE, Kan. — Tyson Foods plans to invest $320 million in a new chicken-processing plant in northeastern Kansas that will employ 1,600 people, but not everyone in the community is happy about it.

The company announced its plans Tuesday during a news conference with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other state and local officials in Tonganoxie. Tyson plans to build the plant outside the town of 5,300 people about 30 miles west of Kansas City.

Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes said the new plant will help the company meet a growing demand for fresh chicken. The plant will be able to process up to 1.25 million birds a week and is expected to open in mid-2019.

The company and state officials expect the plant's payroll, its payments to farmers and its purchases of grain and utilities to total $150 million a year.

After the announcement, some Tonganoxie residents took to the streets to protest, decrying what they called "a back door deal."

Shouts of "we don't want this!" could be heard as citizens confronted city officials, upset that they were not given any notice until after the deal had been finalized.

FOX 4 will continue to follow this developing story.