Officials in Spencer are considering a new ordinance that could permit a meat locker or other business within city limits to process more types of meat. Don Hemphill, legal counsel for the City of Spencer, has briefed Spencer’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
“The only thing you can process right now in city limits is chickens — poultry, I should say,” Hemphill said, “so the question is would you consider allowing beef or pork slaughter and then sort of where and under what circumstances.”
City officials say at least one person has expressed interest in opening some sort of meat slaughtering business in Spencer. Spencer Planning Director Alek Schulz says a possible location would be in Spencer’s heavy industrial district.
“What has been discussed in Planning and Zoning and what could be amended in this is to allow major food processing as a normal use,” he says.
Members of the Spencer City Council have expressed interest in starting small, with an ordinance that would allow a small meat locker in a retail space rather than a major meat processing facility inside city limits. Pandemic disruptions at large scale pork and beef plants in Iowa have sparked discussion about developing more local outlets for Iowa raised hogs and cattle.
(By Corey Harguth, KICD, Spencer)