Black Earth Meats may be forced to move part of its business - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Black Earth Meats may be forced to move part of its business

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BLACK EARTH (WKOW) -- A Dane County company is faced with a deadline to come up with a solution to address complaints from neighbors.

The Black Earth village board voted Tuesday night that Black Earth Meats must develop a plan in the next 120 days to move its slaughterhouse away from homes. Under the motion, the facility will not have to relocate in that time frame, but have a solution.

This decision comes after repeated complaints from neighbors who live close by the meat processing facility on Mills Street. The neighbors came together on Facebook expressing concerns about noise of animals coming into the facility and smells as the remains leave.

Plus, village officials are worried about the risk to emergency services, because the loading dock at the facility is not set back from the road, so incoming trucks block traffic for deliveries.

Village President Pat Troge, who proposed the motion, tells 27 News he doesn't want to see Black Earth Meats move out of town completely, but says neighbors will be more comfortable if the slaughtering stops.

Troge says the business has been rapidly expanding and pushing its limits in a residential area. He believes the facility is too small for the current production and it needs a new waste disposal system. Neighbors have posted graphic videos online of the refuse they see and smell from their homes.

Black Earth Meats manager Bartlett Durand tells 27 News the facility meets industry standards. The business has more than doubled since previous ownership in the 1980's and 1990's, but Durand believes the company has not grown larger than the facility can handle.

"We are a slaughterhouse, it's been a slaughterhouse since the 1950's. The same basic concept has remained true throughout that time, we're just doing it a little more efficiently," Durand says.
Durand believes separating the slaughter from the rest of the business like the village has ruled is not an option. Moving out of Black Earth would be hard on the community he says generally supports the business, along with the 40 workers at the facility.
Black Earth Meats is considering legal action against the village for the decision. 
Neighbors who oppose the slaughterhouse declined to go on camera saying they have nothing nice to say about it.


BLACK EARTH (WKOW) -- A local company that processes and sells meat may be forced to move part of its business.

Black Earth Village Trustee James Coyle tells 27 News the village board voted Tuesday night to give Black Earth Meats 120 days to develop a plan to relocate the slaughterhouse portion of its business.

This follows reports of numerous noise and odor complaints about Black Earth's facility at 1345 Mill Street in Black Earth.

The Sauk Prairie Eagle reports the company has been cited for a number of violations and the Dane County Sheriff's Office has been called at least 32 times in the past year. The Sheriff's Office notes no criminal activity.

The board's vote followed a public meeting Tuesday.

The Black Earth Meats web site notes its certification for humane handling of animals. You can link to the site here.

The Sauk Prairie Eagle reports the company has been at its location in the middle of the village since the early 1950s.

27 News is following this story and working on an update, including a response from Black Earth Meats, tonight in 27 News at 5 and 6. 

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