TURNER — Twenty-eight residents showed up at the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday night to complain about flies from the former DeCoster egg farm on Plains Road.

The farm is now owned by Moark, a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes. General Manager Blair “Skip” Hagy and two other executives appeared at the meeting to respond to residents’ complaints.

“Our first priority is to be good neighbors,” Hagy said.

Moark bought the farm in the fall of 2011. Last year, the fly population was the lowest it had been in many years. However, this is a record year for the fly invasion, residents said. Most attributed the severity of the problem to the wet weather.

Hagy said Moark has installed machines that mix the manure with wood chips so it can be composted. The mixture reaches 170 degrees, which kills the fly larvae. They also put out fly bait to kill the flies. They have to reapply the bait after each rain. The company spends about $28,000 per week on fly bait and expect to spend close to $1 million on it this year.

“If we can do something to fix the problem, we will,” Hagy said. “It is not about the money; it’s about being good neighbors.” He gave his phone number to Town Clerk Becky Allaire and said company representatives would visit anyone who has a complaint.

“We don’t own all of the flies in Maine,” he said. He pointed out that fly problems often can be traced to sources other than the chicken farm.

State Rep. Jeff Timberlake called Maine Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb during the meeting. Whitcomb said no fly complaints from Turner had reached his desk. He said he would check with his staff. If the problem does not improve with the expected dryer weather, he said, he and his staff would work with Moark to resolve the problem.


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