Many not looking forward to new neighbors

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VERMILION COUNTY — Two hog farms will be built despite resistance from nearby residents. Company leaders building the farms say they’re excited to move in, but others say, they’re not giving up the fight.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture gave Parks Livestock the okay to build. Now, some of those against adding hog farms to the landscape say the new fight is with legislation.

Building plans met all the requirements under the Livestock Management Facilities Act.

But some, like Fithian trustee Lisa Powell, worry the farms will hurt air and water quality. She’s part of Stand Up Vermilion County. It has signs all over Fithian and Muncie.

Lawmakers presented four new bills to tightened livestock facility requirements. Parks Livestock says people don’t need to worry about their operation. Powell says she, and others, support the extra measures.

Art Halstead is operations manner for Parks Livestock. Construction is just beginning on both facilities. He says the goal is to have them finished by July.

People in and around Fithian say they expect property values to drop due to the farms. A trustee says she already knows of a home sale which fell through because of it.

Those fighting the farms say they’ve taken their efforts outside town. Stand Up Vermilion County has made trips to Springfield to see how lawmakers can help their cause.

A Fithian trustee says some are making another trip to the Capitol Thursday.

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