GORDON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION MINUTES
DECEMBER 7, 2021, 5:15 P.M.
GORDON COUNTY COURTHOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM
BECKY HOOD, CHAIRMAN
CHAD STEWARD, VICE CHAIRMAN
BRUCE POTTS, COMMISSIONER
KEVIN CUNNINGHAM, COMMISSIONER
M. L. BUD OWENS, COMMISSIONER
JIM LEDBETTER, COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
ANNETTE BERRY, COUNTY CLERK
APPROXIMATELY 100 GUESTS
The Board of Commissioners met for the Work Session in the Main Courtroom of the Courthouse at 5:15 p.m.
Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.
County Administrator Ledbetter explained the agenda items under the New and Old Business items on the Agenda for the Regular Meeting, also the scheduled Public Participation for the Amendment to the ULDC for Dry Litter Poultry Operations. The Administrator read the Board’s rules for everyone signed up to speak and called the first speaker.
Al Stone came before the Board and spoke against the Farm Bureau members and asked the Board to keep Gordon County like the USA not China. He also requested the Board to have an impact study on chicken houses done.
Scot Martin spoke to the Board and commented that he has no problems with large chicken houses as long as they are not owned by foreign companies and suggested that the County find an area in the County and allow chicken houses to be built only in that area.
Rucker McDonald came before the Board and commented that Georgia has the most chicken houses anywhere in the U.S. and his concerns are environmental concerns due to the concentration of chicken houses.
Brian Grogen spoke to the Board and said he has 14 chicken houses and has to have that many to stay profitable.
Sarah Mastragelo said that poultry farmers in Gordon County oppose any changes to the Ordinance.
Meg Reidy commented that research shows the ammonia chemical and particulate matter cause diseases, asthma, etc. and asked that the County do an environmental impact study.
Alesia Chester advised that her family settled in Gordon County and she wants to protect the earth, but chicken houses will ruin our water. She asked that the County do an environmental study.
Austin Wright spoke to the Board on behalf of Mark Owen and said the moratorium has evolved into what we can do with our property, it needs to end.
Alex Brock advised that he is with Pilgrim’s Pride and said that he asks that the County continue the moratorium and that he objects to the amendment.
Kevin Walraven came before the Board and advised that he is the President of the Young Farmers and owns a farm in Gordon County, he opposes any change to the ordinance.
Lisa Stone came before the Board referred the Board to their own Hazard Mitigation Plan, she also asked the Board to keep the moratorium in place.
Bill Dillard spoke to the Board and read a letter stating that there are already provisions in place by the State of Georgia for protection, he stated “You are hurting family farms”.
David McKnight came before the Board and quoted sections of the Comprehensive Plan. There is a disconnect between the Plan and what is taking place in Gordon County. This document is contradicting what is allowing the poultry industry to get away with.
Benjaman Bishop commented that he is against mega chicken houses and asked that the Board keep the moratorium in place. He also said that the County needs to have an environmental study done on the effects of chicken houses.
Jacob Williams spoke to the Board and stated that his request to the Board is to protect farmers and lift the moratorium and keep the ordinance as is with no changes. He also asked that everyone in attendance that agrees with this request to please stand in support. Approximately 50 to 60 people stood in support of his statement.
Chairman Hood thanked everyone for their comments and asked for a motion to go into Executive Session. After hearing from all the citizens that were signed up to speak during the Public Participation, the Board went in to Executive Session. Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to go into Executive Session for Real Estate matters, Personnel matters, and Legal matters. Commissioner Potts seconded the motion and all voted aye. Executive Session began at 6:00 p.m.
Commissioner Owens made a motion to close Executive Session and go back into the Work Session. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and all voted aye.
Commissioner Potts made a motion to close the Work Session and to go into the Regular Meeting. Commissioner Owens seconded the motion and all voted aye.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 6:20 p.m.