Public Allowed Little Input At Sherburne Slaughterhouse Planning Update
Published: December 19th, 2016
By: Matthew White

SHERBURNE—More than 60 Sherburne area residents braved an after-dark lake effect snow squall to pack a Sherburne municipal meeting room with hopes of learning more about the proposed slaughterhouse Tuesday night, December 13, but few new facts were unveiled at the regular monthly meeting.

Prior to the commencement of regular business, the tone was set by Planning Board Chair Rich Kellogg who offered perspective from the Town's point of view, reminding all those who came out that public comment was not on the evening's agenda.

“Whatever happens here is a legal process, and nothing more,” said Kellogg. “As a planning board, we are addressing a request based on the town laws. So let's be clear—this is black and white: it is not gray, it is not subject to opinion. This is very clear in the Town laws.”

“We have been very gracious over the past several months to allow public comment over these meetings, but again, let me be clear: this is not a public hearing; so I ask that folks continue to respect that and understand that in the future, we are not going to open this up to public comment. This is an applicant-driven process.”

Following his opening remarks, Kellogg turned his focus to Residents United Against Industrial Slaughterhouses (RUAIS) Chair Don Westcott and his team, thanking them for their concerns and all the hard work and research executed. Kellogg went on to say that in the future they [RUAIS] would not be permitted to offer any further opinion on the issue. “This really isn't the place for that."

Jim Webb, owner of the RUAIS-contested County Road 23 site, spoke at great length to update the Planning Board with both business updates and in response to a number accusations from the opposition that have circulated in the editorial sections of local papers.

Webb gave an in-depth brief of the former Lok-N-Logs usage of Pentachlorophenol (“Penta, or PCP), siting that the company had utilized the wood preservative minimally and responsibly for a very short period of time in the early 1980's.

Webb went on to clarify that the site or “plant” where the PCP was applied to Lok-N-Logs products is not considered to be included in the parcel under review for future development of Central NY Meats, LLC.

Furthermore, Webb indicated that the PCP plant has been offline since 1988, and that the site had been closed down following “proper procedures of the day.” Since the discontinuation of PCP, Webb noted that Lok-N-Logs have applied water soluble borate solution to its products, which is widely accepted as a safe and environmentally sound compound.

But regardless of whether of not the former site meets EPA soil requirements is moot at this phase of planning, as state and federally mandated regulatory bodies supersede any such preliminary “go ahead” from any local governing body— especially that of new construction sites entering the meatpacking industry. The 2013 New York Consolidated Laws of Agriculture & Markets Article 5-A in the matter of public interest and public health authorizes supervisory and policing power to N.Y. State when it concerns the slaughtering animals and fowl.

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