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House of Raeford may build a plant in Aiken

House of Raeford may be investing $185 million to build a plant in Aiken, according to an article in the Aiken Standard newspaper.

Link to Aiken Standard article

It is not certain if the building of another plant would affect House of Raeford’s West Columbia poultry processing plant. But Sen. Nikki Setzler said if House of Raeford did move, West Columbia could make beneficial use of the riverside Sunset Boulevard property where the plant sits. 

West Columbia plant

“The relocation of House of Raeford will accelerate and enhance the development of the Riverwalk and River District bringing new businesses, housing and jobs to our community,” said Setzler. “We thank them for the jobs and support they have provided to the community.”

West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles said: “I am thankful for all the jobs and community support the plant has provided for our town over its many decades of operations. If the move goes through, I hope it works out well for the House of Raeford and Aiken.”

Known as a valued corporate partner, House of Raeford accounts for a large amount of property tax revenue and it’s one of Lexington County’s leading employers. The plant is also the top West Columbia water customer. The plant donates large volumes of chicken and sells it at discounted rates at times to the general public. It’s FLOCK charity arm, directed by Chuck Underhill, is a reliable and frequent contributor to Lexington Two schools and many other non-profit help agencies.

Aiken City Council, on Monday, passed first reading of an ordinance to give the would-be plant discounted water and sewer rates.

Aiken County Council has also approved the first of three readings of a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement to House of Raeford.

In the article House of Raeford is praised by an Aiken councilwoman as a company that “offers very good insurance benefits to its workers.”

Council members also highlighted House of Raeford’s community investments. One council member said “the company once paid for an entire school’s prom when the school couldn’t afford it.”

Council could consider second and final reading of the ordinance as early as March 25, according to the article.

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