Tonopah residents against new Hickman Farms facility - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tonopah residents against new Hickman Farms facility

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TONOPAH, Ariz. -

Hickman Family Farms has multiple facilities across the State of Arizona. They purchased a piece of land in Tonopah back in November about 90 miles from the California border. Some residents who live in an RV park across the way from the property do not want new neighbors.

"Not in my back yard"said Lorna Proper of Tonopah.

In the small town of Tonopah a war of sorts is waging.

"People are upset" said Proper.

Some citizens protesting the arrival of Hickman Family Farms poultry facility on a 350 acre piece of property outside of Tonopah.

"We'd like to built a state of the art modern egg layer facility" said Billy Hickman.

Billy Hickman is the Vice President of the company which is based in Arizona and the largest egg producer in the southwest United States.

"We have purchased property and it is zoned agriculture and we are an agricultural business that's the use for the property" said Hickman.

But some are calling foul.

"We have thousands of people that come through here every year" said Denise Roye.

Denise is one of the managers of the Saddle Mountain RV Park. She's worried the arrival of the plant would decrease business. "If you put 4 million birds across the street everything is going to be done for".

But Hickman farms says the facility will be cleaner and more modern than other facilities, therefore reducing smell and noise pollution.

"We want to be good neighbors, we look at every resident in Arizona as a potential egg customer and we want to keep them that way" said Hickman.

Some residents claim a conflict of interest because Clint Hickman, brother to Billy, is a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in the Tonopah area

"This is not something that was planned. Clint's appointment came much farther in advance than the purchase of this property" said Hickman.

Tonight residents will have their turn to ask questions to the Hickman Family Farm employees in a town hall meeting".

"People have questions that need to be answered" said Proper.

"We want to make sure we're as accommodating to an area as we possibly can but progress and change happens all through Arizona" said Hickman.

 

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