By Evan Belanger
The Decatur Planning Commission approved on Tuesday a plan for Bunge North America to construct a 110,000-square-foot packaging facility in the 1500 block of Church Street Northeast.
The new facility, near Bunge‚Äôs plant on the Tennessee River, is the second phase of a planned $85-million expansion that will create about 50 jobs, generating roughly $1.8 million in revenue.
The first phase, to begin this spring, will expand Bunge‚Äôs existing refinery operation. Facility Manager Gene Moore said he expects both phases will be completed by the end of 2012.
The plant, which already employs about 136 workers with an annual payroll of $5.36 million, produces refined oil and protein meal from soybeans.
The commission also recommended on Tuesday that the City Council vacate an unimproved public right of way at the site of the planned facility.
The council could consider that as early as next month.