Sibley raising a stink about proposed swine facility


Will Brumleve, Ford County Record (IL) 



PAXTON — Like some village trustees in Sibley, some members of the Ford County Board are concerned about the possibility that a strong odor of hog manure could invade the town if a proposed swine facility is built too close to village limits.


County board members and village trustees alike expressed their concerns Friday that the facility’s proposed location 1.5 miles west of Sibley could cause an issue for the town’s 272 residents, especially since winds usually come out of the west.


“I’m getting numerous calls and people stopping me on the street about the (potential) odor for the town,” Sibley Village Board President Jim Kearney told the county board’s five-member zoning committee. “We are already surrounded on three sides with hog farms, and this would completely surround us.”


Kearney said he is primarily concerned that the odor could negatively impact Sibley residents’ quality of life, noting that a number of outdoor events are held each year in town, including weddings, 5K races, car shows and Independence Day celebrations.


But Kearney said he is also worried about the smell hurting Sibley’s chances of gaining more businesses, not just on the edges of town but in town, as well. An extensive restoration of Sibley’s downtown buildings was recently completed, Kearney noted.


Village trustees Greg Brucker and Corey Volker expressed similar concerns about the 5,600-head swine facility. Volker said the facility would be built just  7,700 feet from Sibley along Illinois 165, with “open pit fans blowing on 5,600 hogs’ worth of manure upwind from the city.”


“I’m for ag and all that type of stuff,” said Brucker, a farmer. “But it’s so close (to village limits) ... and we’re really concerned with there being that many hogs.”


The Sibley officials asked county board members to take into account their concerns when the full 12-member county board votes next Monday on whether to support the facility’s construction through a non-binding recommendation to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The Sibley Village Board was to take its own vote on whether to support the project during its Feb. 4 meeting.


The county board’s recommendation...