Concerned neighbors hold meeting on JoCo meat plant expansion
Tom Dempsey, KSHB Kansas City
Mar 12, 2018
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neighbors concerned about a metro meat company’s plans to expand gathered on Monday night to prepare for an upcoming public hearing with state lawmakers on the matter.
The Valley Oaks Steak Company, located in Johnson County (MO), has already started construction to expand its feedlot and processing plant and plans to increase the number of its cattle more than seven times.
While the company still needs to officially get a permit for the project, many neighbors have voiced concern.
A Facebook group called “Lone Jack Neighbors for Responsible Farming” has grown to more than 600 members, with many of them bringing up possible issues with the environment, property values, and odors coming from the facility.
A public hearing with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will be held on April 3 and concerned neighbors continued to prepare on Monday for the event.
At a gathering at Powell Gardens, residents came together with plans for the meeting with state lawmakers.
“A lot of it is strategy to figure out who is going to be talking at the hearing and in what regard,” explained Powell Gardens Executive Director and President Tabitha Schmidt. “It’s a chance for us to strategize & talk about our plan for the hearing and gather our thoughts so we can be ready to go.”
Powell Gardens staff have voiced environmental concerns about the expansion project, saying runoff from the site could contaminate groundwater.
While Valley Oaks Steak Company has said the plan will bring 50-100 jobs to the area...