SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The latest campaign finance reports published by the city clerk’s office show biofuel company POET gave more than $1 million to Smart Growth Sioux Falls in its campaign to ban new slaughterhouses from being built in city limits.
POET CEO Jeff Broin owns a home in a gated, luxury-house development less than two miles from the site where Wholestone Farms has built a butcher shop and plans to expand to a facility to harvest 3 million hogs annually.
Campaign finance reports show Smart Growth reported more than $1.1 million in total income and spent $1.1 million for an ending balance of $29,604. Smart Growth reported spending $1,120,750 on advertising in the latest filing.
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Skogen Inc also gave $10,000. In previous fillings, POET gave $25,000, while JDS Industries also gave $25,000.
Sioux Falls Open for Business reported a total income of $298,841 to add to a previous balance of $132,211. The group reported spending $323,449 mostly on advertising.
South Dakota Pork gave $175,000 to Sioux Falls Open for Business, while the Iowa Pork Producers gave $50,000 and the Minnesota Pork Producers gave $50,000.
Voters will then decide whether to adopt the ordinance by voting “yes”, thus banning any new slaughterhouses in Sioux Falls, or reject the ordinance with a “no” vote.
Proponents say slaughterhouses’ impact on the city will be negative and want to see them operate outside of the city limits.
Opponents of the initiated measure have said the ban would hurt future businesses from coming to Sioux Falls and harm the agriculture industry and other industries in the area.
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POET provided this statement to KELOLAND News Thursday night:
Today, POET, the largest ag company in the state of South Dakota and one of the largest employers in the City of Sioux Falls, issued the following statement regarding plans for new slaughterhouses within city limits:
As South Dakota’s largest ag company, POET is and always has been dedicated to creating opportunities for farm families by growing value-added agriculture. However, we are concerned about additional industrial slaughterhouses in Sioux Falls when there are better locations in rural areas.
POET has a duty to our more than 3,000 farmer investors to protect the value of our headquarters and our ability to attract world-class talent to live and work here. Over 10,000 residents signed the petition to give voters the choice on more slaughterhouses, and over 50 Sioux Falls businesses and organizations voiced concerns in a letter to city officials on the matter.
We cannot in good conscience stand by and watch as new slaughterhouses jeopardize the quality of life for our team members, our families, and our more than 200,000 neighbors who live and work in this community. It’s time to let the people decide.