STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Debate on Montgomery County CFO ordinance continues

The board could not come to a resolution on two potential changes to amendments proposed on Wednesday. It will reconvene on the matter in December.

Posted: Nov 27, 2019 11:42 PM

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The talking continued Wednesday night at the Montgomery County Courthouse regarding a ordinance-in-the-works about confined feeding operations and concentrated animal feeding operations (CFO's and CAFO's). Click here to learn more about the difference between CFO's and CAFO's

As News 18 previously reported, Bowlder Ridge LLC's request to build a CFO in Montgomery County sparked this controversy. The county currently does not have any rules about where these large-scale animal operations can be built. The Montgomery County Planning Commission met in July to start the talks for a potential ordinance and decided to reconvene in the fall.

"It was at the July meeting that we tasked a subcommittee," said Montgomery County Commissioner John Frey. He said they selected people for the subcommittee based on geographic locations in the county and based on their area of expertise.

"We had residential home owners, the agriculture sector, land brokers who deal with property values, the rural schools," he said. "We had representation from both North and South Montgomery on the subcommittee."

The goal of the subcommittee was to look at the proposed amendment, which was based on what has already been implemented in Henry County. They came to agreement on amendments for the Planning Commission's approval.

Wednesday's meeting started with about a dozen people voicing their concerns, both for and against the CFO's. Some had concerns about air and water contamination. Homeowners who would be impacted by Bowlder Ridge LLC's CFO shared their aggravations. Some who are looking out for the rights of farmers, both young and old, spoke about how they could be positively impacted by CFO's. 

The board then compared the amendments provided by the subcommittee to the original proposal. Some of the ammendments included increasing neighbor notification from 21 days to 30 days, removing points for odor abatement due to the difficulty of enforcement and that owners of CFO's/CAFO's are allowed to build a residential home within 2,640 feet of the animal operation.

However the board has two points that it wants to change. The original proposal has different set back distances between individual residences and subdivisions. The board wants to make that set back distance the same, at half a mile between the foundation of the CFO building and the foundation of the home.

"The discussion is, is one home less valuable than ten in a subdivision," said Frey.

The second point came at the recommendation of local school leaders. The original proposal says CFO's/CAFO's must be half a mile away from schools and incorporated municipalities. The board wants to increase that distance to one mile.

One person sitting in the audience at Wednesday's meeting voiced concerns that there is already limited amounts of space in Montgomery County that accommodate the amendments, and by increasing the school-to-CFO distance to one mile could create even more limitations. Another person who said she was a member of the subcommittee said she was upset to see the board making changes after all the hard work they put into considering the amendments.

"I was disappointed by that," said Frey. "I made sure to contact each of the subcommittee members to ask if they thought this was a fair process and they all said it was. And it was clear to everyone that this is just a starting point. It's my job to lead this group of citizens and get the feedback and input that I, as a commissioner, can take when we make the ultimate decision."

It was brought up that many of the parts of the ordinance are interconnected, and once you change one thing you have to look at others, especially when it comes to the points system used to grade CFO/CAFO owners.

The ordinance the Planning Commission is creating is simply a recommendation to the county commissioners, who will make the final decsions. No motion was made by the Planning Commission board members to pass the amendments and two changes. The board members will take time to review those two changes over the next month and will revisit the ordinance at the December 20th meeting.

West Lafayette
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Kokomo
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 51°
Rensselaer
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 48°
Frankfort
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 50°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 48°
Cooler, Windy with Spotty Showers
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events