SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The city of Sioux Falls has made a motion to dismiss a civil suit filed by the group looking to stop future slaughterhouses in the city. 

Earlier this month, Smart Growth Sioux Falls filed a lawsuit against the city to prevent Wholestone Farms from building a pork plant near Interstate 229 and Benson Road. The motion from attorney Reed Rasmussen, the attorney for Mayor Paul TenHaken and Sioux Falls City Council members, says Smart Growth Sioux Falls lacks standing and the “complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” 

Smart Growth Sioux Falls wants a judge to stop Wholestone Farms from building a “custom slaughterhouse” at the location before the November election when a slaughterhouse ordinance will be voted on. The specific wording of the ordinance change has a grandfather clause to not impact existing slaughterhouses already operating in Sioux Falls.  

Construction has been moving along on Wholestone Farms’ “custom slaughterhouse” and Wholestone Farms is advertising positions for business manager, lead butcher and assistant butcher for its Sioux Falls butcher shop. 

Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone Holdings and Chairman of the board for Wholestone Farms, told KELOLAND News in mid-September construction to finish the smaller-scale hog processing shop is on schedule to be finished by the middle of October.

Smart Growth Sioux Falls legal counsel Brendan Johnson told KELOLAND News he wants to protect the debate regarding slaughterhouses in Sioux Falls.     

“Our community is going to be having a big debate over this. It’s going to take place in churches and coffee shops and civic clubs,” Johnson, a former United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, said. “We should have that debate about things like water and air quality. I want to make sure that we’re able to have that discussion and make sure that we have a vote that matters in November.”

A motions hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Oct. 11.