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LETTER TO EDITOR: Locker plant fines unfair, unnecessary

To the editor:

This letter is to share my concerns about the recent fines that are to be given to farmers who have livestock that escape their control while going to the locker plant and within the city limits of New York Mills.

If this were a regular happening, I may feel differently, but how often does this type of incident occur? It's not as if we as farmers, or the locker plant employees, make a conscious effort to let the animal loose in town. We all have more important things to do. But accidents happen. And this was an accident!

New York Mills began as a farming community and the businesses operating in town, I feel, still count on the farmers as loyal customers. But, all it would take for some farmers is to be fined, from their own town, to make them take their business elsewhere, and there are other small towns in the area that would accept us as customers. In these economic times, is giving a fine for an accident the way for a small town to conduct their own business affairs? I feel that this would create an unnecessary and undue hardship for some already financially strapped businesses in New York Mills.

I don't think that this action was properly thought through. How much would this new law actually cost New York Mills? Cost of meetings, wages, paperwork, research/investigation, mailings/delivery, possible lawsuits/legal fees, reprinting of the by-laws of New York Mills and loss of business all should be considered. Maybe we should fine the mayor for creating unnecessary paperwork?

Randy Thompson

Concerned livestock producer, NY Mills