UPDATE: Ten hours into the Warrick County Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing, those for and against the proposal have had their opportunity to speak. Now, BZA members have material to review and vote upon during a November meeting.
Neighbors showed up in Boonville on Monday night as Warrick County leaders delay a vote that would pave the way for a chicken farm.
A meeting was held at the Boonville County Courthouse, as Prime Foods looks for a special use permit from the county to build a chicken farm on State Road 61.
The Board of Zoning Appeals tabled a decision until next month to take in the hours of testimony presented on Monday night in front of a jammed packed meeting room.
Neighbors have protested the farm for months. They’re worried about their health, the smell, and decreasing land value.
Prime Foods made its case on Monday night for a local chicken farm, saying their barns have technology to limit bad odors and protect the environment. They say a forest will block most of the neighbors from seeing the farm.
Prime foods processes eggs in Boonville already, but their chicken farm is 300 miles away in Ohio. The plans to move it near Boonville had people protesting on the street before Monday night’s meeting.
“We won’t be able to sell our homes,” said Ruthie Howard. “Nobody will want to live by a chicken farm. And not only that, you know it’s just the pollution and everything. I have grand kids. I have a lung problem.”
“I can sit up here all night and talk about the facts and talk about our community and talk about how everybody needs to be together and what Prime Foods is all about,” said Prime Foods President Jay Kramer. “Our family has been here just as long as everybody else.”
If the plans are approved, Prime Foods officials say the farm will be built in phases, and local egg production will be years away.
Even if the Board of Zoning Appeals approves prime’s request, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management would still have to give the okay.
The county will meet again next month.