The ban on slaughterhouses “bad for the economic future of the city”


The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce announced its official opposition to a proposed ordinance that would ban the construction or operation of new slaughterhouses within city limits, urging members to vote against it in November.

The Chamber announced the position Friday morning, becoming the latest organization to choose a side in the fight against Wholestone Farms’ plan to build a $500 million pork processing plant in northeast Sioux Falls.

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The plan was rejected by Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, a group that called on the city government to halt the project due to what they called “profound health, safety and quality implications.” life of the residents of the region”.

When that failed, the group managed to gather signatures to place the proposed ordinance on the November ballot, which would add the following to the city code:

  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, no new slaughterhouse may be constructed or be permitted to operate within the city limits.
  • This section does not apply to any existing slaughterhouse built and operated before the effective date of this section. This section does not apply to the expansion or modification of any slaughterhouse constructed and operated before the effective date of this section so long as such expansion or modification occurs on the existing site.

The House statement on its position said the order “changes the rules in the middle of the game for a company that has followed all regulations established to date,” and called it “bad for the economic future. of our city”.

Construction has begun at Wholestone

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The House also added that residents voted to approve the city’s current zoning ordinances in 2014 and that the parcel of land that would contain the Wholestone plant “was approved in 2017 without opposition.”

In a statement, Luke Minion, Chairman of the Wholestone Board of Directors, said, “We are once again grateful for the support of the Sioux Falls community.”

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Minion pushed back on claims about the plant’s negative effect on Sioux Falls, saying modern technology means the plant is better prepared to deal with odor and sewage treatment issues.

Meanwhile, Robert Peterson, executive director of Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, said in a statement that business leaders in Sioux Falls are sounding the alarm about “the threat posed by more massive hog slaughter operations. for our economic future.

“To attract investment in well-paying jobs, we need fresh air, clean water and neighborhoods where workers can raise families,” he said.

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While the House opposes the ordinance, several of its members are among the companies that signed an April letter asking Mayor Paul TenHaken and the Sioux Falls City Council to stop the project, including POET, Bird Dog Equity Partners and GreatLIFE.

The House also announced its support for Constitutional Amendment D, which would expand Medicaid to South Dakota if approved by voters in November.

The Chamber said expanding health services “will improve the overall health of our workforce, leading to healthy businesses and a healthy economy,” adding that “expanding Medicaid makes sense on economically and that South Dakota can afford to do so”.


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