Plucking growth from adversity – Gloucester County Times
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner," actor KevinSpacey exclaimed often in "21," the 2008 movieabout a collection of bright college students whomSpacey's character coached to become experts atblackjack card-counting.
Franklin Township officials are hoping to make a winner,possibly without the chicken dinner, out of a shutteredpoultry plant that ended up being a loser.
The township is working with a developer to get the formerMeredith Farms poultry plant site restarted as some kind offood processing facility, with or without chickens. PatriciaKnobloch, the township's community developmentdirector, and the redeveloper, Stanker & Galetto Inc. ofVineland, say the Route 40 property has potential because ofits on-site food waste handling capability and itsconnection to the Landis Sewerage Authority's treatmentcapacity.
When Meredith Farms went bust in 1999, it left a trail ofunpaid bills and 50 tons of rotting chicken carcasses. (Theelectricity had been turned off.) Franklin Townshiptaxpayers ending up owning a 50-acre chunk of the 70-acresite because of liens.
There have been redevelopment attempts at the site before.It would be nice to see ugly memories finally erased, with anew food industry employer who could put people to work andtake advantage of the surrounding agricultural community.Good luck to the renewed effort.