Little Falls Residents Concerned About Future Barrett Petfood Innovations Facility
Barrett Petfood Innovations was approved by the Little Falls City Council on Monday to allow the 150,000 thousand square foot facility to be built near highway ten. Specifically, the facility is being built in Chief Hole in the Day industrial park and right across the street from a future Mid-State special education building that is expected to be open by August of 2019.
The location of the two buildings has some local residents concerned about future special education students at Mid-State.
“My concern is what happens if we put a pet food next door, this area is heavily industrial, so they are going to have trucks coming and going and there is going to be kids out here playing,” said Little Falls resident Laura Wright.
“All kids have civil rights and human rights to a decent education and I don’t think they’re going to get it in this location, if there’s a lot of noise and commotion over there that’s going to interfere with even their ability to enjoy their play time out here,” said Little Falls resident Robin Hensel
Barrett Petfood Innovations choose not to be on camera for this story, but gave a release saying, “We are excited to work with Little Falls, the community has been very welcoming to us since last May when we initially had conversations with them when we decided that we needed to expand our business. We want to bring great jobs to Little Falls and want to have a positive influence on the community in terms of what we can do from a job side, along with being a friendly neighbor. It’s a very exciting time for us and we’re very excited to be a part of this community.
Little falls residents are hoping Barrett Petfood Innovations will take every precaution to help the special needs students.
“What are you going to do? Are you prepared to put up fences? How do you keep these children safe, because they deserve to be in this environment where they can learn and grow,” said Wright.
Little Falls community members are also questioning the decision of how a special needs school could be placed in an industrial park area.
“Why is this school able to be in this industrial park, how did those decisions happen, I don’t think that is fair to the kids, especially special needs kids that can’t voice an opinion about this necessarily and fight back,” said Wright.
“Kids that have learning disabilities and trouble focusing, they should not be playing electronic games, they should get out and do happy healthy kid stuff,” said Hensel.