Del Monte Mendota

(Google image)

Legislators are weighing in on the decision by a food processing company to close a large facility in Mendota.

As WSPY reported earlier this week, Del Monte Foods, a large corn and vegetable processing plant is expected to close down, and will begin layoffs to workers in October with the closure of the 431-acre facility on N. 43rd Rd. by June 2020.

Employment figures on the company's website indicate 550 seasonal positions, 31 salaried positions and 106 hourly positions would be impacted.

38th District Republican Sen. Sue Rezin, whose district covers portions of our listening area, issued a statement on the closure.

Rezin called the closure, "yet another disappointment this week for the 38th Senate District and its hardworking people."

The news proceeded another large closure in the region this week as officials with the Dynegy Power Station in Hennepin in Putnam County announced the station's closure, along with three other power plants throughout the state.

Speaking about Del Monte, Rezin called the closure "devastating to our area," saying, "this news comes as a total shock and I feel for those individuals impacted by the sudden closure announcement."

Rezin also shared disappointment about what she said was a, "lack of warning given to local officials by Del Monte." Following the closure announcements, city officials said they were essentially blindsided and did not know the closure of a major economic driver was coming.

Democratic State Rep. Lance Yednock of Ottawa also indicated in press statements this week that he had been on the phone with company officials to learn details of the impending closure. He additionally took issue with the closure of the power station in his district saying the closure, "will only hurt local employees and their families."

The Del Monte plant, previously established as Cal-Pak, has been in Mendota since 1949 and also supplies corn for the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival. Several other facility closures across the nation and an asset sale were also announced.