CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– It was standing room only again Tuesday night at the Camillus Municipal Building as neighbors gathered for a public hearing regarding a proposed 4 million gallon manure storage unit to be built on the Hourigan Family farm.

The Town Board is deciding whether to enact a local law that would amend the zoning regulations allowing them to conduct their own site plan review of the proposed manure pit. 

And neighbors had many questions for the Town Board asking whether the Hourigan’s had provided the geologist report yet, any tests on the cow’s manure, or the latest proposed location for the pit. 

The Town Board answered no to all of the above questions adding that the only plan they have received places the manure pit outside of the Hourigan’s farmstead, putting it in violation of a 22-year-old conservation easement. 

“Why doesn’t the Town of Camillus as the grantee of the easement agreement simply put Mr. Hourigan on notice that the proposed plans that have been submitted to date to construct the lagoon are outside of the farmstead area?” resident Lynn Connors asked, to which the board did not have an answer.

Other residents came ready with their own research, Sasha Straub looking into Onondaga County’s recent May 2022 draft of the Agriculture & Farmland Protection Plan

“On page 95 of that draft, it indicates that CAFOs are a burden to the community and that they are undesirable. Our own county does not support manure lagoons,” she said. 

The Town Board Supervisor declined to comment after the meeting instead referring us to the Town Attorney who was not present at the meeting. NewsChannel 9 did reach out several times to the Town Attorney Tuesday but has not heard back. The Hourigan’s have also refused our requests for comment on camera. 

The public comment period will continue through the town board’s next meeting on July 26. The board plans to vote on the local law at the end of that meeting. If you’re interested in learning more about the project or making a public comment click here.