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The process of allowing processing

Posted: Monday, Jul 15th, 2013


The process of allowing processing

Recently I received a survey in my Town of Pinedale water bill stating the Town of Pinedale Planning and Zoning Commission had been considering allowing meat processing within the town limits. The survey is asking the public for their opinion regarding the necessity of a meat processing plant and the location it should be in, according to zoning regulations.

The Pinedale Locker, located at 618 W. Pine St., which is and always has been zoned commercial, was a meat processing plant in excess of 70 years. It has been in my family for more than 50 years. To my knowledge, no one has ever been hurt, killed or maimed as a result of it being in the city limits.

Generations of families have been living in Pinedale, and those people did just fine for years the way things were. All of a sudden, people move to town because they didn’t like wherever they previously moved from. They run or are appointed to a position with a vote, and they want to change everything to like it was where they came from. I do not understand why the residents of Pinedale put up with it.

Tim Lingle, Pinedale Town Council member, expressed concern for the locker plant because eventually the owner would want to slaughter. Really? That is as if saying the bars in Pinedale cannot serve alcohol because eventually people will get DUIs.

I understand and agree that the actual slaughtering (because I was grandfathered in) is a thing of the past.

Sofia Wakefield, owner of the Log Cabin, was troubled about a meat processing plant even if it did not offer slaughtering. Obviously, she does not realize how much business the locker brought to the community, hotels, motels, grocery stores, restaurants, local taverns and employment. In fact, during the hunting season, I personally know hunters who stayed at the Log Cabin for several weeks at a time.

Mrs. Wakefield also discussed the locker being unsightly. I am sure many of you have driven behind other local businesses and seen their unsightliness.

There was also concern expressed that reopening the locker would decrease the residential property value. Anyone who has bought a home in the first block of Lincoln Avenue knew the building at 618 W. Pine St. was there and what it was.

Why can the local government dictate to me what I can and cannot do with my business? I have paid property taxes on this business for nearly 40 years, and I feel if they can dictate to me then they are decreasing my property value and my livelihood. In my opinion, the local government, just like the state and federal government, is trying to get too involved in people’s lives.

If the people of Pinedale think there is a need for a meat processing shop in Pinedale to take care of the wild game and ranch slaughtered domestic animals, then the most convenient, quickest and best choice of having one is at 618 W. Pine St. because of the huge cost of building a new one at a different location.

I urge everyone to fill out the survey in favor of the meat processing plant that is already there, or if you do not live within the city limits, please go in and sign the petition located at the VFW or go into the town hall and ask for a survey to fill out.

By the way, if this does not pass, are Ridley’s and Obo’s going to lose their permits to process meat? I understand they operate under some type of grocery store permit, but bottom line is, no matter if they get their meat products in a box and we get ours whole, all three businesses are providing the same service – processing meat. The only difference is the grocery store cannot do it with wild game.

Steven Wilder, Pinedale

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