The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

February 25, 2014

Fights continues against proposed Davis County hog farms

OTTUMWA — Land owners in northwest Davis County are continuing to apply pressure of an Illinois agribusiness owner not to build confinement hog farms in their neighborhood.

Ron Thomas of Unionville is selling property to Parks Finishing of Oakwood, Ill., to construct hog confinement structures at three different locations. Two of the confinements will be built on Alfalfa and Clay avenues in Marion Township and the third in Fox River Township on Arbor Blvd. The proposed hog confinement facilities owned by Parks Finishing continue to be a topic of heated debate in northwest Davis County.

Under Iowa code, a hog confinement cannot be built within 1,250 feet of the nearest residence. The proposed Parks Finishing facilities will be built within 1,400 feet of its nearest neighbors.

Tuesday morning land owners from Davis County, as well as anti-hog factory hog farm supporters from Wapello, Appanoose and Van Buren counties visited the Park Finishing office in Ottumwa. They were met outside by a local representative, who listened to their concerns.

Parks Finishing was notified two weeks ago that the group wanted to meet with them at their Ottumwa facility to discuss the possibility of withdrawing their application to construct the three facilities in Davis County. An official at Parks Finishing Office in Oakwood, Ill., told the Ottumwa Courier it had no comment on today’s meeting.

Neighbors, like Jim Ealy, aren’t giving up their fight to stop the hog confinement facilities from being built on the Thomas’ property.

“One of the confinements will be about a half mile from my house and the other a mile and a quarter away. Plus, we’ll be downwind from the third one. All three of these confinements will be upstream from the Soap Creek Watershed, Soap Creek and Lake Wapello,” said Ealy. “We don’t want them there. I don’t think my quality of life should suffer because of 7,500 hogs.

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