HANCOCK COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -- A proposed hog confinement near LaHarpe, Illinois has some residents concerned. In fact, so many residents signed a petition that a public hearing on the confinement is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
But Hancock County officials say the proposed confinement will bring jobs and much needed revenue to the area.
"I understand it's good revenue for the county. My problem is having so many in one spot," said Ken Hunerdosse.
Hunerdosse lives just over a mile from one hog confinement, another smaller confinement is nearby and he's only about a mile from the new confinement that's proposed. His mother-in-law lives right across the road from where the CAFO may be built.
"We're hoping because there are so many hog confinements here we can stop this one because there are just, flat out, too many," said Hunerdosse.
One of Hunerdosse's main concerns is the potential impact on nearby wells. He says the existing confinements already put too much strain on the water supply. His water used to be clean, now he says it's murky brown and smells of sulfur.
"We just can't use it for anything except toilets and showers and things like that," said Hunerdosse.
Hancock County Board Chairman David Walker has a very different view of the proposed confinement. He says it will be great for the local economy.
"This is an $11 million project that the owners are willing to invest in our county. It will generate somewhere close to $109,000 in property taxes. Which 58%-60% of that money goes to our local school districts," said Walker.
If built the facility would provide 16-18 jobs, and it would be operated by Professional Swine Management, a company that already operates 9 CAFOs in Hancock County.
"PSM does a fantastic job operating their facilities so I'm quite confident they will do a good job and do it right," said Walker. It's all good as far as I'm concerned," said Walker.
The public hearing will be at 6 p.m. at the extension center in Carthage. Afterwards Hancock County board has 30 days to make a recommendation to the Department of Agriculture on the proposed facility.
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