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Rockland County Residents Protest Planned Kosher Slaughterhouse

NEW HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some Rockland County residents rallied Sunday against a planned kosher-poultry slaughterhouse.

Residents have been protesting plans for the facility for years, but are concerned that construction may begin soon.

According to the Rockland Times, a flyer for Sunday’s protest says the slaughterhouse, located on Route 45 in New Hempstead near the New Square border, has received a $1.6 million grant from New York’s Empire State Development Corp., “despite the fact that the chicken slaughterhouse project has not received (needed) approvals from the Rockland County or Ramapo Planning Departments.”

The protesters are seeking to have the grant rescinded, arguing that state tax dollars should not be spent on a slaughterhouse in a residential area.

The plant would reportedly process 5,000 chickens a day and at night, would be located on the edge of the tiny Hasidic community of New Square, across the road from New Hempstead, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day told WCBS 880 he believes “the plan is incompatible with adjacent residential uses.”

“There is a process ongoing under the auspices of the county Planning Department,” he said. “But in reality, the final decision will be made in a twofold way. The Village of New Square will decide what they wish to do. They can override the recommendations of the county, and also the reality is that part of the process there are numerous agencies that have to approve this.

“What I am going to ensure and what I will expect of our county Planning Department is what I expect of every application we see — a fair and balanced approach. There will be no favoritism, and every Q will be crossed and every I will be dotted.”

Residents at Sunday’s protest were irate about the planned slaughterhouse.

“Anywhere else in the country every politician would be screaming bloody murder, you can’t do it, but in Rockland County a lot of politicians are afraid they will lose the Hasidic bloc vote,” Suffern resident Robert Rhodes said.

Residents in New Square did not want to go on camera, but said that the slaughterhouse would help the community by creating jobs.

New Hempstead residents have complained that the traffic, the smell, and water pollution would cause property values to plummet, and make local homes unlivable.

“It’s really inappropriate to build a chicken slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood,” Barbara Greenwald said.

Four years ago, a chicken slaughterhouse in New Square was shut down by federal inspectors after complaints about conditions.

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