WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Following the recommendation of the Worthington Planning Commission, Worthington City Council members unanimously approved Monday night a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new freezer warehouse at Worthington’s JBS facility.

Project Ice is currently planned at 186,083 square feet, with an option to add an 84,683-square-foot warehouse addition in the future for the meatpacking business using the property. Construction is already set to begin this week, JBS engineer Jeff Buysman said Monday night.

According to company officials, the new freezer warehouse could create approximately 70 new jobs ranging from $17.05 to $21.30 per hour, plus benefits. The expansion could store up to 25 million pounds of frozen product and 2.5 million pounds of fresh product, increasing the plant’s overall production capacity.

One condition of the CUP is that 74 parking stalls be provided within one year of receiving a building permit, along with a parking plan showing where an additional 59 parking spaces would go if employment intensifies.

Later in the meeting, Buysman presented the city with a $1 million check from JBS, a gift announced earlier this month. The gift, part of the company’s Hometown Strong initiative, will go toward enhancement of the city’s fieldhouse and recreation center. The company plans to donate $2.6 million to help Worthington respond to needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and invest in the community’s future.