Neighbors Voicing Concern Over Possible Mountaire Facility - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Neighbors Voicing Concern Over Possible Mountaire Facility

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MILLSBORO, De. - It was just about six months ago that Mountaire Farms demolished a Selbyville office building. As a result, employees were sent to small rental offices across the county. Now the company is considering the purchase of land in Millsboro as a replacement. This idea has been greeted by some criticism by dozens of neighbors.

The story all begins with a deed in 2008, by which a church-goer left the property to the Grace United Methodist Church. That church is located on Revel Road, in between Indian Town Road and Wiley Branch Road.

Now seven years later, the church is looking to sell that property to Mountaire Farms.

Officials from Mountaire confirmed that they signed a letter of intent with the owners of the property, although they would not release the name of those owners. However Planning and Zoning applications demonstrate that the owner of that property is in fact the church.

At a meeting last week, approximately 75 neighbors came out to voice their concern with the plan.

"It's been here for years," said Bill Lannon of Millsboro referring to the farmland. "If you take all the farm land away - what's going to happen?"

Mountaire's application is to get conditional use for 58 acres of the property for "office facilities to be used by an agricultural related industry."

Nonetheless many residents like Lannon have their doubts that the commercialization will end there.

"I don't have a thing against office buildings," he said. "Just when they put the plant down."

WBOC asked Lannon whether he thought this was likely.

"Yes," he said. "Why would they need 300 acres for an office building? When it could take maybe 20 or 25."

In conversations with WBOC though, Mountaire Farm's leadership was adamant that this was not the plan, saying miscommunication was to blame for much of the opposition.

"The property is currently under review for suitability for this office project," said Mike Tirrell from Mountaire. "There are no new production or manufacturing facilities included."

Other neighbors like Richard Eaton of Millsboro, said they were concerned with the proposal, regardless to what type of commercial property it was.

"I would prefer it to stay farmland," he said. "If you just look at the beauty. To see a great big administration complex on this back road. That I don't like."

Tirrell said that the office could hold in between 100 and 200 employees if constructed.

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