MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Less than a week after the Tyson Chicken Processing Plant in Noel closes, county officials are asking the question: What’s next for McDonald County?

“Let’s talk about where we are now, but more importantly where we are going,” said John Newby, McDonald County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO.

That was the focus of conversation at Tuesday’s McDonald County Vision Meeting, following the closure of the former Tyson plant last Friday.

“With Tyson closing, we figured we have a window of opportunity, and if we don’t catch that window, we’re gonna be in trouble. So we figured we would get people together from inside and outside the county, let’s talk about McDonald County,” said Newby.

Representatives with the McDonald County Chamber of Commerce came together at Hero’s Ranch to discuss the first official bid to purchase the former Tyson plant. It’s from Texas Mineral Solutions LLC, a startup based in Melissa, Texas, that’s trying to revolutionize the wastewater treatment industry with its patented “cost-reversing sludge management” system.

“We take materials that would normally be discarded down the drain or land applied in the state of Missouri. We take those materials and through our process, we dry them, extract the fat, so we produce two usable commodities out of that material,” said Scott Frazier, Texas Mineral Solutions Water System Creator.

Representatives with the company tell us they believe their vision coincides with the county’s.

“Really what we are talking about here fits right in the wheelhouse of environmental consciousness. That’s what most people were concerned about, right? They want to preserve that pristine outdoor climate we have in McDonald County, we’re here to help with that, we absolutely do that, those two goals are congruent, and that’s why we’re so excited,” said Frazier.

Chamber officials say no decision has been made, as Tyson is still accepting other bids.