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Friday, November 20, 2020

Stink over slaughterhouse prompts hearing

Kansas City Beef co-owner Matt Briegel plead his case to those present this evening

The Butler planning commission held a public hearing at city hall this evening regarding a meat packing operation in the former Thorco facility that has been in operation since June of this year.

The Kansas City Beef Company currently processes and packages meat from cattle killed off site, but would like to move forward with adding a slaughter operation as well.

At current, the company appears to be following all the guidelines necessary for processing and packing; not withholding some concerns by nearby property owners.

As the hearing began, plant co-owner Matt Briegel emphasized that with high meat prices and a lack of regional processing plants, there is a need for more of these types of facilities; which no one seemed to disagree with.

However, several citizens voiced worries about toxic runoff, smells and sounds as the operation is a short distance from homes, the hospital and a creek the runs into a small lake in a housing development.

An added snafu, a mistake made in interpreting a zoning map will require the location to be reclassified from light industrial to heavy industrial in order for the slaughter operation to begin. Add to that, a conditional permit will be issued as well.

As both sides plead their case, the planning commission reminded all present that they only make recommendations for the city council, who will ultimately have the final say on whether or not Kansas City Beef Company can move forward with plans.

At this juncture, the planning commission will prepare their recommendations and forward to the council who will meet in regular session on December 1st.

Mid America Live will continue to follow this story and it is guessed that the council may also hold a public hearing to gather more input before making any decisions. Note that COVID considerations may complicate how meetings/hearings may be held.