A group of Walker County residents are suing the county and a chicken processing plant company over a possible business deal.
UPDATE: Walker County residents have filed an injunction against the county. Many community members say they are concerned about a potential business moving into the area.
The McLemore Cove Preservation Society wants to stop an anticipated chicken processing facilities from buying property in the McLemore cove area.
One business owner says if the chicken plant opens it could hurt her company.
Community members say they enjoy the peaceful scenery found in the McLemore cove area.
In April, Tori Phillips organized a community meeting to discuss the future of the cove.
Phillips claims she has been told one business in the community is closing at the end of September to make way for another.
“It could potentially be the biggest chicken processing plant in the Southeast, it could employ over 2000 people, and it will be from the hatchery to the freezer,” said Tori Phillips.
Phillips and her husband have owned Georgia Books which is located across the street from the property for about 20 years.
They sell textbooks across the country and around the world.
Phillips says she has a number of concerns one is the ability to protect her products.
He claims the McLemore cove preservation society is quote “working off rumors, not facts.”
He says more information is not available because the county signed a nondisclosure agreement with the future business.
“This gives the company time to investigate our community without tipping off their competition, but it also gives us the opportunity to research their operations to see if they would be a good fit for Walker County,” said Commissioner Shannon Whitfield.
Members of the McLemore Cove Preservation Society say they are not suing anyone.
They just want the courts to stop the chicken processing facility from opening in the area.
PREVIOUS STORY: A group of Walker County residents are suing the county and a chicken processing plant company over a possible business deal.
They filed the lawsuit in Walker County Superior Court on Wednesday.
The McLemore Cove Preservation Society claims Walker County and Pilgrim’s Pride are trying to build a chicken processing plant facility in their community and that negotiations have been conducted behind closed doors “without public input.”
They state in the lawsuit that the county plans to waive certain taxes and give other benefits to the company.
Walker County’s sole commissioner, Shannon Whitfield, issued a video statement on Thursday saying the group is “working off rumors, not facts.”
Whitfield added that the lawsuit is “senseless.”
Pilgrim’s Pride responded to Channel 3's request for comment, saying: "As a corporate policy, Pilgrim’s does not comment on rumor or speculation. We have made no decisions that would impact the Chattanooga facility, our team members, or our growers who support the facility."