KINGSBURY | Some residents are raising a stink over a plant where chickens and pigs are slaughtered in Kingsbury.
They are up in arms over construction of a more than 20,000-square-foot holding tank to contain water used to clean the concrete floors at Great Lakes Poultry in LaPorte County.
Opponents on Tuesday went before the LaPorte County Board of Zoning Appeals asking for a review of the project.
Owner Steve Lilovich said construction started about a month ago with a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Lilovich said no body parts from the slaughtered animals will be going into the partially underground tank.
He said the tank will hold only soapy water used to clean the floors after the "blood and guts" are picked up by a rendering company, which happens every day.
Lilovich said the company along U.S. 35 since the 1940s operates from 18,000 square feet of space and employs 40 people.
He said the company is inspected regularly by the United States Department of Agriculture.
"We have a job to do. Pork chops aren't made in those plastic trays," he said. Currently, the business daily pumps its tanks and trucks the wastewater to the city of LaPorte's wastewater treatment plant.
He said the holding tank will allow the company to store its wastewater for up to six months before either having it trucked to the treatment plant or making it available to farmers to use as fertilizer.
Lilovich said his company accepts mostly chickens and pigs from Amish farmers and sells them after slaughtering to wholesalers who then supply stores and restaurants with the poultry and pork.
Kingsbury resident Sherry Banik, though, isn't convinced the tank will be harmless, claiming foul odors already at times drift far enough east from the plant to be detected by residents within the town.
"I'm not against doing business. I'm against the smell of it," she said.
Kingsbury Town Attorney Alan Sirinek went before the LaPorte County Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday night, claiming the company needed a special land use variance from the county before starting construction.
BZA attorney Doug Biege told Sirinek a holding tank is a conforming use in an area zoned for manufacturing, but if he wanted to argue his case he could file an appeal to go before the BZA next month.