After being approached earlier this summer about the possibility of a new industry locating near Ayrshire, the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors approved a change in zoning to allow for the construction of the business during their July 31 meeting.
"The county's Planning and Zoning Commission met Monday night, July 30," Palo Alto County Zoning Officer Joe Neary reported to the board. "They considered the request of Pro Cooperative to re-zone a 20 acre parcel in Section 15 of silver Lake Township from Agriculture/Conservation to Light Industrial."
According to Neary, the zoning change would allow Pro Coop to construct a feed mill facility at the location, the intersection of 420th Street and 370th Avenue, a mile west of Ayrshire.
"The P&Z Commission approved the request and recommend the board's approval of the re-zoning," Neary added.
When asked if the re-zoning was necessary because of the nature of the business, Neary responded affirmatively. "Yes, a feed mill would be a non-conforming use for an area zoned agriculture/conservation, so the light industrial designation would be the proper way to zone. Right now, POET and AGP are milling as well, but they are zoned Heavy Industrial because of the gases and products they use in their processes."
With no further discussion, Supervisor Ed Noonan moved to approve the re-zoning, and following a second by Supervisor Ron Graettinger, the re-zoning was approved on a unanimous vote.
As proposed, the facility will mill grain for Pro Coop customers raising swine and poultry in the cooperative's trade area, which extends from near Gilmore City to Milford, Terril and Wallingford. Preliminary estimates call for construction to last around 15 months, depending on weather.
The Supervisors also approved a Conditional Use permit for Henriksen Hogs, LLC, to construct a 101'10" by 193'4" hog building adjacent to an existing building in Section 15 of Independence Township. Applicant Matt Henriksen answered questions on the request for the board, noting that the original building site was designed for the construction of the second facility several years earlier.
"This site does meet the Master Matrix requirements," noted Joe Neary, "and Planning and Zoning voted to approve the request and recommend approval of the Conditional Use Permit."
The permit was approved on a unanimous vote.
In other business, the board reviewed a letter from Drainage Attorney Jim Hudson regarding a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision regarding a long-standing drainage case. The case involved repairs made to a drainage tile that passed under a rail line and the refusal of the railroad to participate in the payment for repairs to the drainage. A similar situation has arisen in Palo Alto County in Drainage District 21 West, where repairs to tile underneath the Canadian Pacific Railway near Emmetsburg.
In his letter, Hudson advised the Supervisors that the Canadian Pacific had indicated it would "complete the installation and construction of a portion of the tile which is their responsibility across the 100 foot right of way."
According to Hudson, repairs to the broken tile at the rail line are anticipated to be completed by October 1, and that he anticipated the railroad would contact the adjacent landowners regarding the repairs.
"This is a good resolution of an ongoing problem," Hudson noted.