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Letter to the Editor

Proposed Hog Barn Concerns Neighbors

Posted 5/19/20

We need help! Something is happening in our neighborhood and we don’t know what to do or where to turn. With this Pandemic occurring, it has been hard to get information. We live in what is …

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Letter to the Editor

Proposed Hog Barn Concerns Neighbors

Posted

We need help! Something is happening in our neighborhood and we don’t know what to do or where to turn. With this Pandemic occurring, it has been hard to get information.

We live in what is know as Big Buck or the “19” district in Carroll County. A large hog barn operation, with over 5,000 hogs, is planned to be built right in the middle of our neighborhood! There are homes in all directions, at least 41 homes plus our little Baptist Church in a one-mile radius. Only three are rental houses including one on the proposed hog barn farm.

My husband was born in this neighborhood 81 years ago. In 1958, as newlyweds we purchased his family home place. We farmed and raised our three girls here.

We had hogs, cattle, chickens and row-crops. A fire destroyed our house and years later a tornado took our barn but we built back and are still here. Two of our daughters and their husbands live in this community.

Our two grandsons just this year came back to Big Buck- one bought a small farm on Bright Road (near proposed hog barn site) and the other is building a house 1 1/2 miles away. Most of the people in this neighborhood have lived here for years and plan to stay. We are all upset and have several concerns about this hog barn.

Just a few of our concerns are- odor, contaminated drinking water, diseases, increased heavy road traffic and decreased property values. We are so concerned that even with the threat of Covid-19 we had a neighborhood meeting last week. Approximately 120 people attended. We had a question and answer session. Their answers did nothing to alleviate our fears! We found out what they do with dead hogs- compost area.

We realize our meat (pork included) has to be raised somewhere but should there not be regulation for these barns to be built in remote areas, not in the middle of an established neighborhood? If people want to build their home near a hog barn, that is their choice. But we have no choice here, we feel as if our neighborhood has been invaded and violated! It is going to be hard to work in the garden, grill out or mow the yard while holding your nose! Our family comes to our house for Sunday dinner after church, we enjoy sitting out in the yard- is that going to be a thing of the past depending on which way the wind is blowing? Hasn’t Covid-19 done enough to affect our lifestyle?

As a community we have consulted several people. The lawyers say “”Let them build and then sue”. We don’t want to do that to them. People in other neighborhoods near hog barns have this advice “If there is anything in the world you can do to stop it- DO IT -It will ruin your community!

How can we stop it? Towns have zoning laws- why can’t rural neighborhoods? Have we no rights? Could this be something our county mayor and commissioners should consider? Where else can we turn? We understand that the laws protect ag- but who protects the citizens?

I realize my husband and I won’t have many years left but we don’t want to leave this “Hog Barn Operation” neighborhood as a legacy to our family and neighbors.

We wish no harm to the young man who has purchased this farm. He seemed very well mannered and nice. We just do not want a hog barn!

Would you want one in your neighborhood?

Thank you,

Joella Lundy

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