- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - A North Las Vegas pig farm famous for recycling leftover casino buffet food is soon going up for auction.

City officials announced the development Monday, which is expected to boost property values in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The farm predates many of the homes nearby but spurs frequent complaints for its foul odors.

Mike Montandon, the broker representing R.C. Farms’ owner Robert Combs, said his client began exploring a sale in December. The hog and recycling operation at its peak had about 7,000 pigs but in recent years has gone down to 3,500 due to a change in the market, the 78-year-old owner winding down toward retirement and the farm’s attempts to control the smell.

The city said it gets about a half dozen calls each week complaining of the farm’s odor.

The announcement comes as the city builds a bridge and expands roads in the area of the farm. North 5th Street, which runs through the 153-acre farm, is a primary transit corridor that will connect the city’s downtown to the Villages at Tule Springs, a planned housing development.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee called Combs a pioneer in town.

“(T)oday begins the next chapter for his farm and our turnaround town which is experiencing an exciting transformation,” Lee said in a statement.

Officials say the starting bid for the farm will be about $31 million. The auction is set for June, although the move and site cleanup are expected to take three years.

Combs has been farming there since 1963 and his sons will continue the business at another site, a quieter area north of the current location and closer to a landfill.

“His father is a pig farmer, he’s a pig farmer and his kids are pig farmers,” Montandon said.

The current site is zoned for farming but there is a master plan that allows it to convert to a mixed-use neighborhood.

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