Tiny Nebraska town says no to 1,100 jobs, citing way of life
NICKERSON, Neb. — Half-ton pickup trucks crowd the curb outside the One Horse Saloon, a neon Coors Light sign in the window and rib-eye steaks on the menu, but otherwise Nickerson, Nebraska, is nearly silent on a spring evening, with only rumbling freight trains interrupting bird songs.
Regional economic development officials thought it was the perfect spot for a chicken processing plant that would liven up the 400-person town with 1,100 jobs, more than it had ever seen. When plans leaked out, though, there was no celebration, only furious opposition that culminated in residents packing the fire hall to complain the roads couldn't handle the truck traffic, the stench from the plant would be unbearable and immigrants and out-of-towners would flood the area, overwhelming schools and changing the town's character.