Harris County residents raise concern about local chicken factor - WNCN: News, Weather

Harris County residents raise concern about local chicken factory

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HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. -

Some Harris County residents say they've had enough of the smell, noise and runoff from a local chicken factory.

Charles Wyatt is the County Commissioner of the district where the chicken-processing plant Koch Foods sits. He says hundreds of residents have asked for his help to do something about the problems the factory causes.

“The stench is just unbearable,” says Wyatt. “It'll just stifle you…I’ve had folks 11-miles away in Waverly Hall say they can smell it if the wind’s right.”

Smell is just one of the problems that residents who live near the factory face. Wyatt says blood and grease from the chicken’s runoff, the garbage and noise are all concerns for neighbors.

Wyatt lives a mile away from Koch Foods, which employs nearly 1500 people at the Harris County plant. He says many of his constituents are concerned about their health.

“Every one of these feathers flying up and down this road has the potential for salmonella,” says Wyatt. “And washing into these lakes, and these kids playing in the water, who knows?”

Scott Moye is one of Wyatt's constituents. He lives across from the plant, which was previously home to Cagle’s. JCG Foods, a subsidiary of Koch Foods bought the factory out of bankruptcy last year from Cagle’s Inc.

“The smell is worse, the noise is worse, the runoff from the front of the factory to our property is worse,” says Moye. “We really don't know what's coming from this place up here.”

Wyatt says he realizes the plant won't go away. He just wants answers to what will be done to address these problems. He hopes to get some answers Tuesday night at the County Commission meeting, where factory officials are scheduled to give a presentation. County Chair Greg Wood says they will be giving an update on plant upgrades that are supposed to improve some of the problems.

Factory officials did not respond to our request for an interview.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.
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