Agriculture

Adams County Board opposes proposed hog confinement facility near Columbus

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 11, 2018 7:55 am

QUINCY -- Members of the Adams County Board on Tuesday night unanimously voiced their opposition to a proposed hog confinement facility.

The County Board's vote is nonbinding and will be sent to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which will make the final decision. The County Board was tasked with deciding whether Pittsfield-based Pike Pig Systems had fulfilled eight specific requirements for the facility.

The proposed facility, which would be known as Gin Ridge, would be 2.3 miles northeast of Columbus in central Adams County. It would be a breed-to-wean farm with about 3,000 sows producing about 65,000 pigs a year for other owner-producers.

County Board members agreed that the company had not met the seventh standard, which requires that traffic patterns minimize the effect on existing traffic flows.

"We've always had the route and agreements set in stone," said County Board Chairman Les Post, R-6. "We don't have that this time. There's no way to determine if they've met the criteria until we see a definite route."

Post also found issues on whether the facility would meet the eighth standard, which requires that the new facility be consistent with existing community growth, tourism, recreation or economic development.

"In the small picture, it probably seemed like a good location," Post said, noting that while only 13 addresses are within a mile of the proposed site, that number increases to 26 at 1.5 miles away and to 55 at 2 miles away. "In the big picture, I think it's a very poor location and could have a huge economic impact on the area."

Representatives of Columbus and Camp Point townships addressed the County Board with their concerns before County Board members voted.

Camp Point Township Trustee Dean Moore said that because the facility would receive access directly through Camp Point Township, road construction and maintenance costs would increase.

"That would mean increased taxes to all Camp Point Township residents, with no benefit," Moore said.

Other residents addressed the possibility of the smell from the facility hurting area golf courses and campgrounds.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has 15 days to decide on the issue.

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