The Viroqua waste treatment plant processes 270,000 gallons/day. Recently Wisconsin imposed a set of new regulations on municipalities. To meet these standards, Viroqua is in the midst of renovating of its plant. The $7 million price tag will be paid by the residents of Viroqua.

Premium Iowa Pork (PIP), which recently purchased the former Driftless Meats, intends to begin its slaughter of 700 hogs/day in the fall of 2018. They requested the city of Viroqua to treat 30,000 gallons of waste/day. Due to the ongoing renovation of Viroqua’s sewage plant, their request was denied, with the understanding that they may re-apply once the renovated plant is operating.

Should Viroqua decide to treat the waste generated by this slaughtering operation, it would amount to 11% of the total waste currently being processed by the city.

Should the Viroqua City Council, following the renovation of the city’s plant (fall of 2018), decide to process the waste generated by this hog processing plant, it's only fair that Premium Iowa Pork pay for 11% of the $7 million price tag ($770,000).

Unlike the residents and businesses of Viroqua this slaughter operation not only provides little, if any, services to Viroqua area but it will contribute very little to the growth of Viroqua’s economy, since the materials used in hog operations of this nature would be purchased from outside of Viroqua. It is unfair to expect the citizens of Viroqua to “foot the bill” for a $7 million renovation when 11% of the waste material processed would come from a highly undesirable industry, that will contribute little to the local economy. Not to mention the threat operations of this nature pose to the environment. A vibrant community is built through the selfless efforts of a hardworking, responsible, informed and caring citizenry, who serve one another for the common good and not by greed-driven, self-seeking corporations.

Talk to your elected public servants: the Viroqua City Council, the Vernon County Board of Supervisors and township board. Urge them to make decisions that will not only support economic growth but which will also protect the quality of life we, perhaps, have come to take too much for granted. Urge your elected officials to strongly oppose the opening of the hog slaughtering facility.

It's only fair, that with one voice, the people of Viroqua, Westby and Vernon County let the people of Premium Iowa Pork know, “We don’t want you here!”

Paul Stuebs, Viroqua

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