Nearly a year after an ordinance was adopted to prohibit concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Todd Township, township supervisors officially repealed it at their monthly meeting Monday evening.
The decision to repeal the ordinance was made after the state Attorney General’s office made a ruling earlier this year stating ordinance 2018-02 “A Community Bill of Rights,” was unconstitutional. The ordinance was originally signed into law in July 2018 and prohibited CAFOs from being placed within the township.
Township resident Geri Gabrielson said she obtained nutrient management plans from two area farms where the liquid pig manure from the Werner farm, a CAFO on New Fording Road, would be spread. She expressed concern over how much manure would be spread on those farms.
“It looks like they’ll be spreading around 770,000 gallons of liquid pig manure over one farm,” she said. “I know the township can’t tell people what to do, but you guys are going to be the ones footing the bill when you have to clean up the creek. There’s a creek that goes right through the farm.”
Township supervisor William Hall said they need to hear back from solicitor Larry Lashinsky to see what they can legally do to prevent more CAFOs from coming into the area.
“The ordinance (that was repealed) was fine,” said Gabrielson. “I don’t want people to get sick. People need to learn that what they’re doing is detrimental to the environment. You all need to create ordinances so it’s a pain for CAFOs to come in.”
Gabrielson also asked township supervisor Matt Barnett why he didn’t support the ordinance to begin with.
Barnett believed from the start the ordinance was illegal, and he voted against it when it was originally passed in July 2018.
“If you want to do something legally, then I’m all for it,” said Barnett.
Hall added that until they receive legal counsel on how to proceed to pass legal ordinances that make it more difficult for more people proposing CAFOs, their hands are tied.
“I’m all for farmers, but I’m against this industrialized version of it,” he said. “We need the correct information on what to do. If it were just up to me, they wouldn’t be here.”
Township supervisors opened a bid from Hammaker East for double seal coating on Grange Hall Road and dry reclamation that includes milling, reshaping, compacting and seal coating on New Fording Road.
The cost to double seal coat Grange Hall Road will be $79,464.15 and the cost to do the work on New Fording Road will be around $39,985.04.
Hall asked if it is critical to do both roads this year, as the cost of the projects will come out of liquid fuels, and he expressed concerns about whether there would be enough to pay for other costs out of liquid fuels for the winter. With the projects, they would have approximately $44,000 left in liquid fuels until they received more.
“Grange Hall (Road) should be done,” said township roadmaster Clair Curfman. “New Fording Road could wait. I could put cold patch on it.”
Township secretary Catherine Harshbarger said they would have enough left in liquid fuels funds to use for whatever is necessary, as long as there are no surprises in project costs.
“Nobody else put a bid in; their plates are all full,” said township chair Dennis Runk. “We even asked people about it.”
After the discussion, supervisors voted to approve the bid from Hammaker East for the road work.