Voter-led petition on new slaughterhouse exceeds signature goal
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Smart Growth Sioux Falls announced that it has now gathered more than 10,000 petition signatures – far more than required to put the ordinance to ban new slaughterhouses within city limits on the ballot this November.
The petition signatures were delivered to the City of Sioux Falls on Thursday, according to a press release from Smart Growth Sioux Falls.
“Citizens should choose whether or not they want new slaughterhouses stinking up our community, destroying our water, and piling up traffic within city limits,” said Robert Peterson, a Sioux Falls native and treasurer of Smart Growth Sioux Falls.
The petition would stop new slaughterhouses within city limits, including the proposal from Nebraska-based Wholestone Farms to open a 170-acre complex with a wastewater lagoon in Sioux Falls, just off Interstate 229. The proposed site, near residential neighborhoods and businesses, would be used to process up to six million hogs annually. Despite the massive size of the proposed complex, no serious attempt has been made to study the project’s impact on the community, housing, water, traffic, or odor.
“Collecting this many signatures, far above the 6,089 required, in such a short time frame demonstrates the high level of concern Sioux Falls residents have about adding more slaughterhouses within our city,” said Peterson. “In fact, a recent survey showed that 78 percent of voters support this update to the city code. Massive new slaughterhouses can and should be sited outside of city limits – closer to the farmers they serve, and away from business, residential, and recreational areas where they would do more harm than good. It’s time to let voters decide.”
The ballot measure would add language to the city code stating that “no new slaughterhouse may be constructed, or be permitted to operate, within city limits.” The petition expressly exempts any existing animal slaughter facilities, and it does not affect any changes or expansions at existing sites.
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