The Russiaville site being considered for a fish farm and food processing facility is no longer the top location for the company in Howard County.
Perfect Ocean was considering the site to construct a building to house indoor tanks to raise and process up to 11 million pounds of fish.
Local residents have been vocal in their opposition to any manufacturing operation in the most rural area of the county. Concerns voiced by area residents included the impact on property values, wells and septic systems.
Jeb Conrad, president and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, said Friday Perfect Ocean is looking at alternative sites within the county that may be a better fit.
“Russiaville is not off the table,” Conrad said. “I would say it was moved to the ‘B’ list. They don’t want to go anywhere they are not wanted.”
He said Perfect Ocean is continuing to investigate several other sites in Howard County and all the operating pieces have to be in place.
“I believe they will find a spot in Howard County that will work,” Conrad said.
The company is expected to bring more than 200 jobs to Howard County in the first phase of its operations.
Norm Schmitt, an organizer for concerned area residents, said the group would not fight the company locating in another part of the county.
“We’re not the bad guys in this,” he said. “We would like to have the jobs. We don’t want any industrial park in this area.”
Schmitt said the citizens have offered to help Perfect Ocean find another location in the county.
Howard County is being considered for the company’s first location along with a site in southwestern Kentucky.
County officials are expected to release a statement today that will provide more details into a possible Perfect Ocean operation in the county
“We’re trying to get the information pinned down so we can provide that information more publicly,” Conrad said. “... The rumor mill has gotten out of control. We’re working with a consultant to try and find some kind of median where [the company] is comfortable with the information not negatively impacting them with their investors, employers or competitors.”
Austin Davis, a spokesman for The Perfect Ocean Corp., said Thursday the company has considered land outside Russiaville, as well as places in several other states, to possibly build a fish farm.
The company plans to open 50 to 60 facilities over the next decade on several continents to provide up to 20 varieties of fish for human consumption.
Perfect Ocean plans to raise up to 11 million pounds of fish per year. They breed Enviropure fish, which are fish the company raises entirely in climate-regulated buildings.