JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - As many as 35,000 chickens could soon be cooped near Carbondale's Cedar Lake and Murphysboro's Kinkaid Lake, according to Jackson County Board Chairman John Rendleman.
Jackson County residents have a growing concern for sanitation and how the facilities could affect the county water supply.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved a license for the Everett Kauffman Poultry Operation.
Kauffman is a farmer and a member of the Amish community just outside of Carbondale near Cedar Lake.
He said he's invested $800,000 into his a poultry farming facility. He said he spent at least $10,000 to make sure it was environmentally safe.
More than 5,000 people have signed a petition to suspend the operation from moving forward.
Patty Weyhrich lives near Cedar Lake and says she's concerned with the farm. She says she's concerned with how the animals will be treated, water quality, smell, and traffic that could be heightened in the rural county area.
"The question is well, who is going to make sure the productions facility up to code," Rendleman asked.
The poultry farm facility is aluminum, air conditioned, and manure will be stored in a dry facility. He said he's gone to great lengths to prevent any type of contamination to the surrounding Eco-system.
Kauffman said his family lives on the property and gets their water from the rural water district.
Rendleman said the Jackson County board has little say in whether or not production will continue. However, he said the county is working with the state for an intergovernmental agreement that would allow Jackson County to inspect the building to ensure it's up to code.
"I think board members are concerned," Rendleman said.
The Jackson County Board will meet on Tuesday to discuss their options.