Swift Plant in Butchertown
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Swift Plant in Butchertown
Swift Plant in Butchertown. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

Butchertown’s ongoing battle with the Swift Plant between Story Avenue and Mellwood Avenue is one stinky feud. Even in the dead of winter, it seems, the plant can’t contain itself. Patti Clare, the former Interim Director of the Downtown Development Corporation, said last year that the city is looking for a relocation site for Swift, but noted that not many neighborhoods are willing to allow the company in. She estimated that Swift could be out of Butchertown in about five years, though. Meanwhile, an antiquated scrubber installed 14 years ago can’t keep up with production and a new one won’t arrive for months.

Here’s the story from the Butchertown Neighborhood Association blog:

After calling to complain about the odors for five days in a row, I asked our friends at the APCD how the progress on this new system was coming along. We were informed that Swift is in the process of replacing the scrubber that was brought online in 1995 with a new and updated version. Likely what has happened is that they have upped their production so much over the years that the current scrubber doesn’t have the guts to keep up with all the swine flowing through the plant.

The bad news is that this new piece of “air cleaning” equipment is not supposed to arrive until July. So hold your noses, pick up your phone and keep the complaints rolling in when they are impeding on your rights to be able to enjoy your own property.

The Swift Plant isn’t just a concern for Butchertown, but hurts all neighborhoods surrounding it including Phoenix Hill and Clifton. The facility also occupies some prime real estate that, once redeveloped, will help connect the surrounding neighborhoods into a unified urban environment. We hope a new site for the plant can be found in less than five years, for the sake of Butchertown and for redeveloping urban Louisville.

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Branden Klayko

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