Letter: Animal feeding operation devalues property

From: Mary Kathleen Reese


Until just over a year ago, I resided at 3728 N. County Road 1100E, Hartsville. I had lived there since 1989.

This letter is to make known the financial devastation that the local confined animal feeding operation has caused me.

I had my home, a 2,400-square-foot house and just under six acres, for sale. It took almost a year to find a buyer for the property. There were several people who loved the house but refused to purchase it because of the proximity of the “hog farm.” Indeed, there was an offer pending, for much more than the amount that it finally sold for, but on the very morning that the Realtor was to draw up the contract, the potential buyers called said Realtor, and told them, “Stop the contract. We’ve done some research, and the hog farm is too close. We are not going ahead with the offer.”

Months later, I received a very low offer and after a great deal of thought decided to accept it. I knew that if I waited until spring, when there would be hogs in the building, I would be lucky to sell it at all.

My estimate is that this CAFO has cost me between $25,000 and $50,000. The property is nine-tenths of a mile from the hog farm property. This loss has devastated my finances and my retirement.