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Commissioners To Hold Public Hearing On County Health Ordinance

Commissioners To Hold Public Hearing On County Health Ordinance
By Echo Menges

The Knox County Commissioners decided, at the end of their regular meeting Friday, March 11, 2011, to schedule a day for members of the public to voice their concerns about the Knox County Health Ordinance concerning concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Knox County. The Commissioners fielded several personal complaints about existing CAFOs in their office at that Friday meeting along with over a dozen phone calls from Knox countians. By the end of the meeting they went ahead and set a date.
The hearing will be in the courtroom at the Knox County courthouse Monday, March 28, at 10:00 a.m. to noon. Anyone who wishes to speak at the meeting must first call the Knox County Clerk’s Office and have their name added to the agenda. Due to time constraints each person on the agenda will have to adhere to a strict time limit they will be allowed to address the Commissioners. Depending on the amount of people who have their names added to the list the time limit will range from three to five minutes for each person. Anyone who cannot attend the hearing may submit their statement in writing to the Knox County Clerk’s Office prior to the public hearing.
At this early point in the counties newest CAFO conversation the Commissioners are merely fielding the concerns of both sides of the issue. Some ideas have been discussed, but nothing, as of yet, is in the works in the way of actual changes to the ordinance. One of those ideas comes from County Commissioner Terry “Red” Callahan, who says they’re beginning to look at wheather or not to expand the distances between CAFOs, between CAFOs and occupied dwellings, and between CAFOs and public areas like schools. Though nothing, at this point, has been drawn up concerning the matter.
The entire Knox County Health Ordinance can be viewed on their web site at by clicking on documents tab of the site or by visiting the Knox County Clerk’s Office at the Knox County courthouse.