The Madison Township Board of Trustees approved a resolution Monday opposing the construction and operation of a 2,400-hog farrowing facility on Jones Road and urged David Daniels, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director, to use his authority to require permitting for the facility.
Daniels lives in Greenfield. He was not present at the Madison Township Board of Trustees meeting.
Residents of Madison and Paint townships came to speak about how the proposed hog facility on Jones Road would affect them. Those opposing the hog facility say it would have potential serious adverse impacts on the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of the township, neighbors, and county residents.
A letter written by Amy J LeBeau was read aloud to those in attendance. Amy J lives on Jones Road. Her family and those who know Amy J said they are concerned that the operation of a large hog facility close to her house would negatively impact her health condition. She could not make it to the meeting.
“We’ve had no conversations with Duane or John Surber. In my experience, when someone isn’t discussing plans, with those of us who will be affected, it’s because they have something to hide,” wrote LeBeau. “I understand the need for industry to grow, but why in an area that’s so populated? I say no to a mega-hog factory on Jones Road.”
Duane Mathews, or ‘Dee’ as neighbors have called him, owns the land where the proposed hog facility would be built on Jones Road. He is leasing about 20 acres of land to John Surber, the Premier Solutions owner, who will construct and operate the hog facility.
Madison Township Trustee David Dorn shared the concern of Amy J and other residents in the area on the proposed hog facility.
“It doesn’t seem to fit where they’re going to put it. It’s too close to too many houses,” said Dorn. He has been a trustee for about 15 years.
The proposed hog facility would not be required to obtain permits from the state of Ohio.
“The state has more requirements for the management of everything if there’s a permit,” said Dorn.
Hog facilities with 2,500-hog or more must obtain permits from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Those permitted facilities must develop and implement plans for soil testing, water testing, and manure plans. The proposed facility would be just shy of permitting requirements, a fact that many residents pointed out.
“We are requesting the state agriculture director to require a permit for this hog operation. We’re all concerned about the manure polluting the ground water and the surface water. Everybody out here in the country uses well water. It’s a lot of hogs and a lot of manure,” said Dorn.
Dorn said just because the Madison Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution does not mean Daniels will use his authority to require the hog facility to get a permit.
“As trustees, we don’t really have much say in what they can and can’t do. We’re just asking the state of Ohio to require that they have a permit. They may not listen to us and they might, we don’t know,” said Dorn.
Dan Drake, who lives close to where the proposed hog facility would be, thanked the Madison Township Board of Trustees for their support on the issue.
“We are gratified that the Madison Township trustees would understand the depth of our concern, the seriousness of the potential impact of this facility, and that this is a unique problem for the township…given all of these risks to the residents, the property, the environment, and the water,” said Drake.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton