Sibley trustees narrowly OK letter of opposition to hog facility


Jean Noellsch, Ford County Record (IL)



SIBLEY — With one of six trustees abstaining, the Sibley village board voted 3-2 Monday night in favor of voicing opposition to a proposed hog-finishing facility that would be located 1.45 miles directly west of the town of 272 in western Ford County.


A letter addressed to the Ford County Board says village trustees feel the facility does not meet the last of eight siting criteria set forth by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.


The letter questions whether the new construction is “consistent with specific projects involving community growth, tourism, recreation or economic development.”


The letter says the proposed facility is incompatible, “due to odor,” with local recreation at the Sibley Lake and village parks, community tourism such as the Sibley Fouth of July celebration, downtown renewal and potential new business, and attracting or retaining village residents.


The letter “insists” that the county board not give a favorable recommendation in March to the Illinois Department of Agriculture for the proposed facility. The state agency has the final say in whether the facility is allowed.


The letter was drafted and read aloud by Trustee Corey Volker, who then made the motion to have the president sign and send it to the county board. Trustee Greg Brucker seconded the motion.


Volker said his concerns are due to the facility’s “open pit with the potential to store up to one year’s manure from 5,000 hogs.”


Volker, Brucker and Tim Fillenwarth voted in favor of sending the letter. Trustees Ben Wurmnest and Jeff Gallagher voted against sending the letter.


Trustee Joe Jones abstained, stating that he does business with the Hartman family, which would own and operate the swine facility. Jones is an agent with Country Companies Insurance.


During the discussion, Wurmnest spoke in favor of the facility. Wurmnest said the proposed facility would be modern and nearly 1.5 miles from town, noting there are other livestock facilities located even closer to town.


Wurmnest also pointed out...