RDA discusses 2017 highlights, Simmons Pet Food expansion

The Regional Development Association held its first meeting of the new year Friday with more reflection on the 2017 annual report.
The highlights of the year included the $38 million expansion of the Simmons Pet Food plant and the continuation of a the half percent retail sales tax. RDA President Kent Heermann says as they seek new avenues to bring industry to the area, the pet food manufacturing industry has continued to blossom.
Heermann says the Emporia area has capitalized over the past 25 years on being part of a prime area of the country for pet nutrition facilities.
As expansion continues this year on the Simmons project, the RDA is aggressively going after an Economic Development Administration grant from the Department of Commerce to assist with funding of a new water tower near the plant.