After much deliberation the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain has voted in favor of the building of the newest HyLife barn project on Highway 253 located north of Killarney. The Crown Royal Nursery 2 would be an 18,000 weanling nursery raising young pigs from 15 lb to roughly 65 pounds, located at SE ¼ 33-03-16 WPM.
A special meeting was held this morning to further discuss the Crown Royal weanling barn project, and to further consider HyLife’s Conditional Use application to build more hog barns in the municipality. The application generated strong feedback against the build from neighboring farms, as well as many residents and cottage owners from the Pelican Lake area, at last week’s public hearing.
Mayor Merv Tweed says there has been deep discussion about this barn project, and they have voted in favor of the build, however it is subject to many conditions, “and if these conditions are approved, then we are comfortable with our decision.”
“We are an agricultural community, and have many hog barns among our constituency and we felt that it was important that if we put conditions in place, and protect the concerns of the people at the meeting, then we would go ahead,” explains Mayor Tweed.
Conditions include proper coverings on the lagoon and establishing tree lines. “We’re talking about anything that will mitigate the concerns environmentally,” shares Tweed. “Obviously, smell is an issue and we felt with a shelterbelt that deals or addresses that issue, we felt we could do that. As well, we think with a cover on it [the lagoon], it will limit a lot of the smell concerns.”
Discussion took place both at last week’s public hearing, as well as in Council Chambers, regarding the potential for water run-off into the watershed after the application of hog manure onto the fields. Last Monday, HyLife representative, Sheldon Stott, explained how current and common farm practice is to apply fertilizer onto these very fields, but in the granular form, and that applying hog manure is actually the more natural approach to the same practice.
“The fertilizers that we apply from our machinery, there is leakage, there is seepage of that going into the water systems too,” adds Tweed. “But, we don’t feel that with the conditions that we put in place, that that will become an issue.”
To the folks who are in opposition to the project, Tweed says they understand and that’s why they have put strict conditions in place. “I suspect there will be a certain percentage that won’t be happy. One of the challenges of being in government at any level, is making decisions on behalf of the people who elect you, and we’ve seen pretty positive community results from the introduction of the hog industry to this part of the province.”
“We want to see that continue,” he shares. “We want to see our population grow. We want to see the investment continuing in our community and those were a lot of the factors that helped us make our decision.”
HyLife holds the next step in the process, that being to consider the conditional use put before them by the municipality. “If they agree then we can put together a formal agreement. If they disagree then they have the right to appeal the decision to the Province,” notes Tweed.
“These kinds of council decisions are always tough,” he adds. “We had a lot of conversation around the table and a lot of issues were presented. Again, at the end of the day, the council felt that it was in the best interest of Killarney-Turtle Mountain to move forward.”