Hundreds turn out for community meeting on proposed animal rendering facility in Gadsden

Hundreds turn out for community meeting on proposed animal rendering facility in Gadsden
Stop the Stink community meeting in Gadsden. (Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC)

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - Hundreds of people opposing an animal rendering plant in Gadsden filled up a high school auditorium Monday night. A company called Pilgrim’s Pride wants to build a factory that turns animal parts into animal food before shipping it elsewhere.

Gadsden city officials have been working on the project for months.

Officials in surrounding cities, like Rainbow City, Southside and Attalla, along with residents in those cities, say the unbearable smell from such a facility would destroy the quality of life in the area.

A community meeting aired out the issues surrounding the controversy.

An attorney representing a business in the area says the project is shockingly far along, but the Gadsden City Council can still stop it.

“Construction was imminent. After final permits were underway, is what’s so shocking, that a project of this magnitude that had such an environmental impact on our community, could get so far along in the process without the public being told about it,” said Christie Knowles, the attorney representing the owner of Choice Fabricators, which is located near the proposed site.

Among the people who spoke at the meeting: Westminster Christian School headmistress Christy Greer and Etowah County Schools Superintendent Alan Cosby, who commented on the adverse effect they felt such a facility would have on their school children.

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