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Nash County commissioners to look at chicken plant

Posted February 7, 2011

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— The Nash County Board of Commissioners on Monday took another look at plans to bring a chicken processing plant to the county.

The board voted late last year to rezone an area west of N.C. Highway 97, near the Wilson County line, for the plant.

People opposed to the plant are suing the county, saying officials didn't follow the same rules they had in the past to make way for the Sanderson Farms plant.

Commissioners said they wanted to use Monday’s meeting to clarify their previous ordinance. The planning board said proposed changes to the zoning process would clarify any misunderstanding and help the county avoid any future lawsuits.

The commissioners voted in favor of classifying a slaughterhouse in a category that does not require a special permit, which means less regulation for Sanderson Farms.

Vice Chairman Billy Morgan, one of two members of the board to vote against the proposal, said he thinks the zoning changes were done specifically for the plant to come there. 

"It's set for them and designed for them, in a roundabout way," he said. 

More than a dozen people lined up in front of the board to voice their opinions on the plant.

Citizens sue Nash County over chicken plant

Although the plant is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area, some residents said those jobs aren't good enough. 

"What does that mean? That the only thing we are smart enough to do around here is cut up chicken?" one resident said. 

Plant faces more opposition

The Wilson City Council voted unanimously in November to allocate $1 million to fight the chicken processing plant because the city believes it would impair its water supply. Officials contend that waste from the plant would be piped into Wilson County's watershed and then sprayed on the ground.

The plant's waste disposal would "cause problems with odor, flies, respiratory issues and adverse impacts to the city's water quality, thus negatively impacting the quality of life of the citizens of the City of Wilson," a resolution passed by the Wilson City Council states.

The resolution states that Nash County never informed Wilson about the proposed plant and has denied the city's request to delay the project for an environmental impact study. It also states that Wilson will not supply water if it would end up being used in the plant.

Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis said previously that careful research has shown no potential environmental problems associated with chicken processing plants. He promised to hold more public hearings on the issue.


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  • RM24 Feb 7, 2011

    www.saynotosanderson.com if you want to know the truth about what the proposed slaughterhouse and the chicken barns to support it will do to the Neuse and Tar Rivers, the surrounding area and those unfortunate enough to get one of the CAFOs in their neighborhood.

    I can't say that it makes any difference to me either way. But you talk about look at the rivers? Look at Rocky Mount. Drive down 301 and look at all the empty buildings. Swing thru Fords Colony. I can keep naming communities or locations if I need to. I am sure those who live out at the Tar River Res don't want it. But then again they don't need it. And I expect most don't care about much more than themselves. But all of you who are opposed to it go home tonight and ENJOY that CHICKEN FILLET, and tomorrow morning get you one of those JUICY CHICKEN Biscuits! Maybe we can train those darn birds to clean themselves.

  • Joe Friday Feb 7, 2011

    For those that are too ignorant to know better or too quick to voice an opinion on something that they know little or nothing about, this is the age of information and there is plenty out there. Do your homework before you display that ignorance in writing for all to view. The Charlotte Observer did a fine job on their research into the poultry industry’s workers and the jobs that they have to perform. Here is a link to their findings to get you all started: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/expose/2008/06/304-index.html

  • Joe Friday Feb 7, 2011

    It's beginning to look a lot more like contract zoning, just another push by the Nash County Commissioners to make it easier for Sanderson Farms Slaughter House, Inc.

    Let's not require a special permit for slaughter houses. If we did, this would mean that the county would have more control over their activities and we would not want to upset SF because we are their humble servants. After all, SF is Nash County’s savior and does promise to provide all these jobs for its unemployed. Regardless of SF’s past record, which of course is not true, that these jobs will be filled by migrant workers and the turnover rate is higher than 40%.

    SF assures that there is enough water to supply their plant for the next 60 years. See you have nothing to worry about, your children on the other hand . . .

  • RM24 Feb 7, 2011

    But I know that Rocky Mount needs all the help it can get. Ask the people at Home Depot. Or maybe LoneStar. And those are just in the past few months. I will not go on and on about all the others in the past 5-10 years.

  • the river rat Feb 7, 2011

    www.saynotosanderson.com if you want to know the truth about what the proposed slaughterhouse and the chicken barns to support it will do to the Neuse and Tar Rivers, the surrounding area and those unfortunate enough to get one of the CAFOs in their neighborhood.

  • the river rat Feb 7, 2011

    Today's commissioners meeting was pretty much what we've come to expect here in Sanderson County. Of the 24 nearest counties, 21 post their ordinances online. Not a single one list "animal slaughter" as a permitted use in a General Industrial zone without a Special Use Permit, but Nash County does as of today. They willingly gave up the ability to place ANY special restrictions whatsoever on the slaughterhouse.

    How about a goat slaughterhouse beside Abbott Labs? Why not? If the land is zoned GI there's nothing left to challenge it with.

    And since Nash removed its Intensive Livestock Ordianance from the books, we can build the world's largest goat farm right here. No permit required. Anywhere you want that zoned agricultural. No ordidnances left to challenge that either.

    Just part of the systematic plan to clear away any and all obstacles for their newfound friends.

    That's the way we roll here in Sanderson County.

  • elainaworrell Feb 7, 2011

    Want some crow for dinner Wilson? Would you prefer some good ole Sanderson Farm chicken instead?

  • Joe Friday Feb 7, 2011

    RM24, you need to go work for the federal government. With your mathematical expertises you could clear the US deficits in one year.

  • elainaworrell Feb 7, 2011

    Nash Co. welcomes Sanderson Farms!!! Wilson does not have a chicken in this fight! Their feathers are being plucked by a much bigger rooster. Good job Nash Co. commissioners.
    Wilson...would you like some chicken with that whine or would you prefer some crow?

  • kdavis23 Feb 7, 2011

    Send them on up to Person County. We need jobs of any kind and are not whiney about it.