Pima County slates public meetings on proposed Monsanto greenhouse

Pima County recently posted on its website a schedule for a series of public meetings during which community members can receive information and offer input on a proposed Monsanto greenhouse facility on a 155-acre site near Twin Peaks and Sanders roads.

A Monsanto representative will be on hand at each meeting, along with experts and Pima County Economic Development Deputy Director Patrick Cavanaugh, the posting said.

Upcoming meetings are slated for 11 a.m. Jan. 13 at Green Valley Recreation - Las Companas Center, 565 W. Belltower Drive; 5 p.m. Jan. 17 at Ellie Towne Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road; 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress St.; and 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at Quincie Douglas Center, 1575 E. 36th St.

The County Board will also discuss two pending agreements with Monsanto at its Feb. 21 board meeting. The county has also created an informational page about Monsanto at http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=314745.

Monsanto plans to invest nearly $100 million to build a 7-acre greenhouse facility to develop and grow corn seed.

Pending agreements between the county and Monsanto would include Monsanto in the regional, federally approved Foreign Trade Zone, which would offer the company reduced property tax assessments. In Arizona, agricultural property already receives a lowered assessment ratio of 15 percent. A FTZ designation would lower the assessment to 5 percent.

Monsanto would also agree to report quarterly to the county about the types and amounts of pesticides used, as well as amount of water used, wastewater produced and any hazardous chemical spills at the site.

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