Plant to remain in operation

Kirksville City Council approved funding Dec. 21 for a new production line at the Kirksville Kraft plant.

Kraft will purchase Chapter 100 Bonds, which allow cities to construct or improve warehouse or industrial facilities with bond proceeds.The bonds Kraft plans to purchase are worth $229 million and the city will issue them to fund the new line.

Carolyn Chrisman, executive director of Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc., says Kraft has not yet announced what the line will produce. She says in addition to keeping the 463 full-time positions currently at the plant, the new line also will add 69 full time positions.

“The new line will help cement that Kraft will be in Kirksville for another decade or two,” Chrisman says.

Chrisman says with the bonds, the Kirksville plant will get new facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, an incentive to keep the Kirksville plant in operation.

Chrisman says the plan is to have the line operational and distributing product by next fall. She says the facility expansions, including parking lots, should be complete by January 2017.

For more from Chrisman and Assistant City Manager Ashley Young, find the story on page 6 in this week’s Index.