LINCOLN, Neb. -- Hundreds of thousands of chickens could be coming to Lancaster County for poultry farming. The project is a part of Costco's poultry operation in Nebraska. And they hope to have 100 growers in the state by 2019. Now an acreage in the southwest part of the county could be one of them.
Lincoln Premium Poultry, a company that Costco created for the project, said they are excited to have a grower in Lancaster.
However, many people that live near the 20 acres, are less than thrilled.
For Ken Teras, he regrets ever selling the full 80 acres of land which once belonged to his family. He never thought a chicken farm would take its place.
"This area would be flattened out for about basically two football fields long, to accommodate the confinement buildings," said Teras.
Other people who's properties are near the proposed barns... Are also worried.
"This is the extent of the application of this building, that's going to house up to a quarter of a million chickens. they don't say anything about the air quality what they'll do to control the ammonia odors that might come out of these four hanger sized buildings," said Curt McConnell who's property is 400 yards away from the potential farm.
According to paperwork filed with the Lancaster County Planning Department, the Randy Essink Poultry Operation applied for the special permit to construct the barns for broiler chickens. The barns will serve Lincoln Premium Poultry which Is the company that sources chicken for Costco.
"We get it, people aren't familiar with poultry in Nebraska," said Jessica Kolterman a representative for Lincoln Premium Poultry.
But Kolterman said neighbors have nothing to be worried about.
"They way you think about poultry 20 or 30 years ago is not the poultry of today. These barns are enclosed, these barns are completely covered. These barns have very scientific procedures placed inside to mitigate odor, to mitigate dust," said Kolterman.
But people in Denton are frustrated they don't have specific details of the project, and were only given about a weeks notice before it's presented at the planning meeting.
"It seems to me if they're confident their product is safe they should have approached neighbors in a timely manner and said lets have a meeting, lets discuss what this is, let us reassure you everything's going to be safe, and done to environmentally safety standards so you don't have to worry about your health or kids health," said McConnell.
The full plans will be presented at the Planning Commission meeting next Wednesday, June 20th at 1 p.m. That same day there will be a public hearing on the project.