On Monday, July 24, Milford City Council approved a conditional use request from Perdue to construct a trailer wash enclosure, live receiving addition and a sanitation supply room on their Rehoboth Boulevard property. The Board of Adjustment approved a setback variation for the trailer was enclosure on July 13.
“We bring poultry in from three states and a lot of these states have strict biohazard standards,” Dean Walston, Director of Operations at the Perdue Milford Plant, said. “Any trailer that leaves our location must be certified that it has been washed and sanitized under regulations related to poultry diseases like avian influenza. Our equipment must be the cleanest on the shore and that is why the trailer wash is so important. State veterinarians can stop our trucks at the border of other states and demand to see a certificate that says the trucks have been washed and sanitized.”
Mr. Walston said that the company is currently meeting the regulation with an internal washing system that allows them to clean the trucks, but it is not efficient enough. In the winter, because the system is in the open air, the area tends to freeze, making it difficult to wash the trucks. Currently, the company uses areas both inside and outside, which is not as efficient as completing the task in one location.
“This is the first phase of a $17 million investment in our site by Perdue,” Mr. Walston said. “The wash station will initially create 12-14 positions at our Milford location, but those positions may be shifted to other areas as the system grows automated. The biggest attributes of the new was system will be in the area of animal welfare. It will also make our products more valuable in the marketplace.”
Agency comments on the application submitted by Perdue indicated that there were currently improvements planned in relation to rights-of-way, future sidewalks and the modification of a bus stop along Rehoboth Boulevard. Perdue is working with DelDOT on those issues. A Storm Water Plan and coordination with Kent County regarding pre-treatment was also required. Perdue received approval from Kent County regarding those requirements. The changes would not affect truck or car traffic since there will not be an increase in production associated with the addition. All wastewater from the washing facility will be contained in Perdue’s existing system.
City Council approved the request without comment and a vote of 7-0.