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Trouble in Trumbull

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Farmers irate as potential slaughter house, rendering plant to be built
JOEY DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY - Farmers in Trumbull are angry that a group of Nigerian investors plan to build a slaughterhouse on land originally approved for only a barn.

The Ellis County Department of Development, which regulates buildings on county land, issued a permit to Mimax Investment Group for a non-residential barn at 344 Risinger, according to the permit.

According to county officials, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must approve of a slaughterhouse, or rendering plant, before the county can issue its permit.

But marked below the barn application is a check mark for the permit application being approved, then rejected. Federal permits are required as well, according to a separate box that was checked off.

Delton Ake, director of development for the county, said he did not know why the boxes were checked off that way.

The section of the permit was the section for a 'County Administrator.'

'I don't have [the permit] so I can't comment on that,' Ake said.

Kenneth Burns, another farmer who lives across the street from the proposed plant, confirmed reports of six-foot fences with barbed going up at the site.

'I can't go on hearsay, so we really can't do anything until [they build a plant],' said Delton Ake, director of development for the county.

Residents were also unsure of what would actually be put on the land after hearing rumors.

'We were told it was going to be a rendering plant, where they store dead animals, and then they [investors] tell us they're going to put in a slaughter house,' said John Marshall, who lives near Rissinger Road in Trumbull. 'So we don't know what the truth is.'

Officials with the investment firm could not be reached for comment.

The septic system, because Ellis County does not have a zoning process or regulations, must be connected with any type of commercial or residential facility, Ake said.

'If they build something other than [a barn they applied for], then I'm sure the county has some grounds to stand on. The only hammer I have is to deny them septic [specifications] if they falsified application permits,' Ake said.

'Those things can be smelled from five miles away,' Marshall said. 'We don't want this out here.'

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