There is an update in the battle to bring Trim-Rite to Stephenson County. The company and any other interested company can now formally begin the application process to start business.
The Stephenson County Board unanimously agreed to the final plat approval at the Mill Race Crossing industrial park, land behind Kelly Springfield south of Freeport.
Interested companies would undergo a three month review process before the county could give the approval to start construction.
Trim-Rite is rumored as a strong possibility to bring a hog processing facility to the land. A small group of protestors living nearby the proposed site waved signs in opposition before the meeting.
Others, however, argue Trim-Rite and any other job opportunity should be welcomed to a county sagging with unemployment.
"I understand their concerns, but we need anything that can come to this community to help uplift. With 13 percent unemployment, that's going to improve the community, not lessen it," Dewayne Brasfield said.
"I believe that this is the bottom of the barrel, and i should think they should be able to find something better than that to bring in. It's a very hazardous job and I don't believe in brutalizing anyone that might want to work there," Betty Frey said.
Stephenson County zoning officials are hopeful to review multiple business opportunities simultaneously. Should the county approve new businesses to locate, primary construction could begin as soon as September.