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Opinions differ on Curryville’s pork proposal

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Council Votes 4-2 To Allow Limited Quantities of Show Hogs Within City Limits

 

By Ethan Colbert
bgted@lcs.net

Tempers flared Monday evening at Curryville City Hall as city council members heard from citizens regarding a proposal to modify a city ordinance to allow a limited number of “show hogs” within city limits.
A “show hog” is described as a hog that is raised specifically for the purpose of exhibiting at a county, regional, or state fair. Due to their specific purpose, the show hogs are kept within the confines of a shed or building and are groomed multiple times a day.
During a previous meeting, Brett Waddell, of rural Curryville, approached the city council and asked them to reconsider the wording of ordinance 73.310, which banned swine livestock from being raised within city limits. Other livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and limited amounts of poultry were allowed to be raised within the city’s borders.
In his presentation, Waddell said that he was considering purchasing a home on the municipality’s northern border. If he purchased the property, Waddell said he would like to be able to raise the show hogs.
“These are not feeder hogs,” Waddell said during his remarks on Monday night. “They are not going to be outside. They are going to be kept inside because otherwise they would be sun burnt.”
Curryville resident Caroline Flanagan took exception to Waddell’s request. She said she had a petition of signatures from Curryville residents who did not want hogs being raised in the city limits, regardless of their purpose.
“Here is the list of people who signed up saying they wanted pigs in Curryville,” Flanagan said as she held up a blank piece of paper. “No body wants hogs in town. No one wants the smell.”
She then held up a piece of paper that appeared to have several signatures. Flanagan would later leave the meeting without submitting her petition to the city council for further review.
Flanagan also said during her remarks to the city council that she feared the pigs would devalue her property, which borders the property that Waddell is considering purchasing from Mike and Mary Martin.
Mike Martin was also in attendance at the Curryville City Council meeting. A noted cattleman and farmer, he spoke in favor of approving Waddell’s request.
“This dispute started 20 years ago,” Martin said of the disagreement about swine being allowed in the city limits.
“We raised hogs on that property for months before you knew anything about it,” Martin said to his former neighbors. “You didn’t smell anything because we cleaned the floor of the shed they were kept in daily. When you complained of the smell, it was coming from the west.”
Located west and northwest of Curryville are several large hog confinements.
City Council member Larry Shaw agreed with Martin.
“I owned property over there,” Shaw said regarding an odor coming from the former Martin family home. “I mowed over there and I never once smelled them.”
In his remarks to the council, Martin asked why given Curryville’s roots as a rural, agrarian community that the council would stand in the way of someone wanting to raise livestock for a 4-H or FFA project.
Waddell, a member of the Bowling Green High School faculty, teaches agriculture and sponsors the school’s FFA chapter. He is also a county 4-H alumni, having been a member of the Curryville 4-H Club, Peppy Circle.
In his remarks on Monday, Waddell said that while his days of exhibiting livestock at the county fair were behind him, he did intend to assist 4-H and FFA members who were interested in exhibiting livestock but lacked the facilities to do so on their own property.
After the presentations from the three Curryville residents, the city council debated the merit of the proposal.
City Council member Gene Perkins was one of the first to speak in favor of modifying the existing ordinance.
“I was out to Mike Martin’s many times,” Perkins said. “I never once smelled them.”
According to Perkins, he also did not believe the alleged odor was a reasonable excuse for not altering the ordinance. Perkins argued that the feces of a pig smelled no worse than the feces of any other livestock or even domesticated animals such as a household dog.
Meanwhile, city council member Jeannie Barton said she had concerns about how Waddell would handle the excrement from the swine. She also said she was concerned because of how many people had signed Flanagan’s petition.
“You’re totally going to disregard what the people in town want,” Barton asked of her fellow city council members who had vocalized their support for altering the city’s ordinances.
Waddell answered Barton’s concern regarding the waste by saying that it would be discarded out of the city’s jurisdiction.
Ultimately, the council would vote 4-2 in favor of amending the city’s ordinance 73.310 to allow nine pigs per household. Casting their votes in favor of amending the ordinance were: Ashley Norell Gene Perkins, Jackie Grimmett, and Larry Shaw. Casting their votes against the proposal were Ronnie Singleton and Jeannie Barton.