City to vote on allocating bonds totaling $6.5M towards Lifeline Foods expansion

City Council has a full agenda for Monday night's meeting, including allocating bonds towards an Industrial Development Project.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 5:40 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph City Council has a full agenda for Monday night's meeting at City Hall, including allocating bonds towards an Industrial Development Project.

The ordinance (#612-18) authorizes the City to issue its Taxable Industrial Development Revenue bonds in a principal amount not exceeding $6.5 million to Lifeline Foods' expansion project. LifeLine Communication Specialist Melissa Chesnut said the company is building a second mill for its masa flour production.

The project, costing the company a total of $12 million, will create 13 new jobs with an annual salary of $60,000. A majority of the 13 jobs will be for operator roles.

"The encouragement of continuing to invest in our community, bringing jobs here, keeping jobs here that's all important, especially for a business like ours," Chesnut said. "We've been around nearly 20 years and, certainly, this building itself has been around for 100 years, so keeping that all local is important to us."

The construction for the second flour masa mill should be completed by the end of December. It will be Lifeline's second major capital expansion at their St. Joseph facility in the past two years.

"Certainly when companies like ours are investing millions of dollars, we are using - the majority of the time - local contractors, so that's bringing money into the economy here locally and keeping the money here," Chesnut said. 

She added that expanding the company's masa flour production is keeping in step with food consumer market trends, which shows that more people are buying Mexican food, specifically tortilla chips, than white sandwich bread.

"The market is pointing us in the direction of more people eat more Mexican food," Chesnut said. "So, we make a product that goes into a lot of that food which is cornflour and masa flour."

The company completed its specialty mill about 18 months ago, which allows them to make organic and non-GMO masa flour. Lifeline CEO Kevin Kelly has a five-year growth plan for the company, which includes the addition of the two mills. 

St. Joseph City Council will vote on the ordinance at tonight's City Council meeting, which will take place inside City Hall at 7 p.m.

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