Poultry House Public Forum Set for Tuesday Night - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Poultry House Public Forum Set for Tuesday Night

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Protect the Paleo Channel sign on Naylor Mill Road. (Photo: WBOC) Protect the Paleo Channel sign on Naylor Mill Road. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver is hosting a public forum on poultry house expansion Tuesday evening.  The forum will be held at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Glen Avenue in Salisbury from 6-8 p.m.  

The growing number of large chicken houses in Wicomico County has become a hot-button issue in recent weeks.  After the proposal of a chicken farm with 10 large poultry houses on the corner of North West and Naylor Mill road, neighbors created their own organization to fight back against the proposal.  Members say they are not against the poultry industry, but against massive farm operations or industrial-sized CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feed Operations.

Bill Twilley lives a few hundred feet from where the proposed chicken houses would be built on North West Road. He said that 19 years ago he led a charge against a construction company opening up its rubble pit to other construction companies from numerous states.  Truck after truck would dump its debris on this Wicomico County land, adjacent to the proposed chicken house site.  Twilley said it was important to fight back 19 years ago because of the potential damage to the paleochannel aquifer that runs underneath the area.  Now, Twilley said the fight must be renewed.

"I fought the battle 19 years ago and won it," said Twilley.  "And now, the paleo stream has become the major supplier of our water.  I don't know why the same people that want to drink the water, I don't know why they want to pollute it."

Twilley's concerns have been echoed by many in the county.  The proposed chicken farm on North West Road is certainly not the only proposed poultry operation.  The proposals have been popping up around Wicomico County, which has made the public forum all the more necessary.

The county will host representatives from the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Agriculture, and Health.  The representatives will make up a panel of experts that will answer questions from the audience during the public forum.  With the public house issue becoming so contentious recently, the forum is designed in the hope of easing some of the tension.

Wicomico County will also have a special work session next Monday morning in the Government Office Building to discuss poultry houses and all are encouraged to attend.

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