Prestage Farms is exploring alternative locations for a pork processing plant in Iowa after the Mason City Council last week nixed a package of incentives originally offered to lure the $240 million facility.

The city council, which unanimously voted in favor of the incentives in March, was deadlocked 3-3 in last week’s vote, effectively killing the project while leaving supporters perplexed at how the city could turn down one of its largest economic development projects in decades.

Prestage had pledged to hire 1,000 workers, with the possibility of doubling that workforce by running a second shift in the future.

"It fascinates me that (people are) going to go to Hy-Vee in the morning and forget where their food comes from," said Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, who spearheaded recruitment of Prestage to the city, which has seen its population decline over the past two decades. "I wonder where we’re at when we’re...