ST. PAULS — Robeson County has been awarded a $1 million grant to upgrade and repair a wastewater treatment facility that serves a turkey processing plant in St. Pauls.
Prestage Foods, located on N.C. 20 East, employs about 380 people.
The grant was among 19 grant and loan requests approved recently by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority and announced by Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday. The grants and loans total $5,153,475.
Robeson County was one of two counties to receive money from the Industrial Development Fund’s Utility Account program, which “provides grants to units of local government of the 80 most distressed counties in the state.”
“Funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of new jobs,” a statement announcing the grants said.
According to the statement, upgrades and repairs to the wastewater treatment facility serving Prestage Foods is expected to “extend the viability of the plant” by 30 years. The grant will be part of an overall $5 million capital investment.
“Quality buildings, sites and infrastructure remain fundamental for every business, and these grants and loans enable North Carolina communities to attract, grow and retain companies and jobs,” McCrory said in the statement. “RIA programs move the needle for our smaller towns and counties when opportunities for economic development arise.”
Prestage Farms has its corporate headquarters in Clinton and has been producing fresh and frozen ready-to-cook turkey items at the St. Pauls Prestage Foods plant since 2005.
At full production, the plant processes and markets 10 million turkeys annually, according to a company profile on the North Carolina Department of Agriculture website. Company officials could not be reached for this story.