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IID Board discusses National Beef issue

(IID Board President names members to ad-hoc committee)…The committee is to work on the National Beef issue.

Tuesday Imperial Irrigation District Board President James Hanks appointed Directors Steve Benson and Matt Desert to the committee. They will work with County Supervisor Ryan Kelley, appointed by his Board to the ad-hoc committee. The City of Brawley and the Cattle Industry will also name members to the committee. They are tasked with putting together a package of incentives to be offered to National Beef to try and keep them from closing the Brawley Facility. An official from National Beef will be in the County at the end of the week to meet with local officials, detailing what it would take to keep the facility open. Problems previously cited by National Beef are the availability of feeder cattle, utility costs, environmental issues and regulatory issues. A package will be put together within 21 days and presented to National Beef. Several people in the Cattle industry and others said the loss of the Brawley facility could possibly mean the end of the Cattle Industry in Imperial County and the loss of jobs in many peripheral businesses, as well. The IID Board said they might be able to use Local Entity funds to help solve some of the issues. They also said if National Beef does not accept the incentive package, the package could be used to attract another processing company. Officials said there are at least 3 interested companies, but it is too early to release their names.