Community activists say the fight against hog confinements isn't over

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YANKTON, S.D. - Building seven new hog confinements in Yankton County has been the cause of community wide controversy this summer.

But this week all seven applicants decided to withdraw their applications.
Last week the county commission delayed the applications, asking for a facilities management program before moving forward.
Dozens of people opposed to the project came to that meeting. There were so many of them they spilled out of the meeting chambers and filled the hallway.
The same people who packed into the county commission chamber last week are back here again Tuesday night. They say even though the seven applications for hog confinements have been withdrawn, the fight is far from over.

Members of Citizens for Quality of Life are walking through the doors of the county commission chambers again.

“Front to back activism and awareness, we need people to realize that they need to be at these meetings,” Tony Kellar from Gayville said.

So they can keep an eye on what's happening in their community.

Before the meeting Citizens for Quality of Life gathered at the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, wearing shirts to show their stance on what is happening.

“Take somebody covering their mouth with an American flag,” Yankton resident Kaylynn Sayler said. She designed the T-shirts.

They say they are fighting for their property values, environment, and health.

“My wife has some asthma, and some health concerns, and we've been told by our doctors that anybody within this proximity is going to be greatly affected,” Kellar explained.

“I was surprised. Disappointed because I understand there is a lot of work that has been going into this,” County Commissioner Todd Woods said.

He says he see the hog confinements as an opportunity for the area

“We're on the verge of a drought in our area, and that hurts our row crop farmers, and when our farmers aren’t making money, that hurts our Main streets, so anyway our farmers can diversify income to help themselves out, turns around in our community, and is very beneficial,” Woods explained.

He says he hopes the applicants reconsider.
These activists say they will be ready if they do.

“There is a huge follow in this. They don’t want these. They don’t want them here in Yankton,” Sayler said.

“The fight is far from done,” Kellar stated.

The applicants attorney, Ross Den Herder based in Yankton, says he can't say why his clients decided to withdraw the applications or if they were planning to reapply.

Since the applications were withdrawn, if they wanted to pursue building hog confinements in the county again, they would have to completely restart the application process.