Dunbarton residents want to keep egg farm out
Engineer Jennifer McCourt explains Tom Giovagnoli’s plan to build a 27,000-square-foot barn for 20,000 egg-laying chickens on Twist Hill Road property during a recent Bedford Planning Board meeting. (SUSAN CLARK/Union Leader Correspondent)
Tom Giovagnoli, of 57 Twist Hill Road, is seeking approval to build a 27,000-square-foot barn for 20,000 egg-laying chickens on his property. Giovagnoli spoke very little about the plan, leaving the presentation to his engineer, Jen McCourt; attorney John Cronin; UNH professor and agricultural specialist John Porter; and Karl Johnson, product manager for Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs in Monroe.
If approved, Giovagnoli would be among the 30-plus contract farmers in New Hampshire who house 20,000 laying hens in a specially designed barns and operate under Pete & Gerry’s rules and standards, Johnson said. The company would oversee food safety, egg production, manure handling, insect and rodent control, water and waste management, and would have full access to Giovagnoli’s farm for inspections, he said. The hens would be raised free-range and organic-certified.
But abutters are not convinced that approving an egg-production farm in their neighborhood is right for the town of Dunbarton.
She questioned Giovagnoli’s integrity referring to a violation of zoning ordinances in renting an apartment and an installing an illegal septic system on his property. Although these two issues have been addressed, she said, how can the residents be assured violations such as these will not take place in the future?
Pino said Monroe has installed a nitrate filtration system, and a filtration for homes could cost owners about $10,000.
He also said he has spoken to residents and a store owner who said manure is being dropped from trucks into the road and tracked into stores, hawks and coyotes are visible in the area and chicken carcasses are being dumped into the woods.
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