To borrow some words from Hank Williams Jr., the fight over Sanderson Farms is all over except for the crying.
Sanderson Farms, which considered building in the area, said it had abandoned plans to come here back in November.
That didn’t stop multiple fights then pending in the courts over the idea of building a chicken plant in the county.
Last week, the N.C. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of two court decisions in favor of Nash County that were filed by opponents of a proposed chicken processing plant in Nash County.
The city of Wilson and some landowners near the proposed city challenged Nash County’s rezoning of property near N.C. 97 and Interstate 95 that was being considered for the plant.
“One of the difficulties we’ve had in marketing that property is the cloud of the lawsuits that hover over the property,” Nash County Manager Bob Murphy told the Telegram. “And (these cases ending) certainly makes it easier to market properties.”
And while those legal battles are efffectively over, the long war continues.
In another case that remains unresolved, two Nash County landowners filed a lawsuit to challenge Nash County’s purchase of the land that was considered for the poultry plant.
So far, an N.C. Superior Court judge ruled in the county’s favor, but the landowners then filed an appeal with the N.C. Court of Appeals.
The results of that legal maneavuer are still pending.
At this point, Nash County has spent more than two years debating the merits of bringing a Sanderson Farms chicken processing plant to the region.
The opponents have won. Sanderson Farms says it has no plans to come here and has since announced plans to build its new plant in Palestine, Texas.
The old arguments that Sanderson Farms might change its minds and suddenly come back should be put to rest by now. The courts have ruled in favor of Nash County again and again. There is no benefit to be had in dragging out these lawsuits. It’s time for Nash County to finally move on.