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Supervisors Approve Livestock Operation Plans

August 15, 2013
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Palo Alto County Supervisors gave their blessing to the expansion of a livestock feeding operation during their weekly meeting on Aug. 13. The board also received an update on road construction and future plans of the county engineer's office during the session at the Palo Alto County Courthouse.

County Zoning Administrator Joe Neary presented the Supervisors with a conditional use permit and Master Matrix application from Steve Reding for final consideration.

"Planning and Zoning met last night (Monday, Aug. 12) to consider the application of Steve Reding to build a 620 head finishing building for beef with deep pit manure storage, and will also be converting a swine nursery into a finishing barn," Neary explained. "These are projects on an existing operation and will have a combined animal unit capacity of 1,827 head."

The application for the site, located in Section two of Fairfield Township, falls under the jurisdiction of the state's Master Matrix program, and Neary reported that he an Don Cunningham of the Department of Natural Resources visited the site late last week to validate the Master Matrix points.

"This site had more than enough points, and it also had additional points for the owners living at the same location, which you don't often see," Neary added.

"Steve also has a wavier from David Bleckwenn, who lives within a half-mile of the site, and the waiver meets the requirements of the county's Good Neighbor Policy," Neary noted. "Planning and Zoning recommended approval of this application."

"I would move to approve the permit, and thank the Redings for meeting the Good Neighbor Policy," Supervisor Ed Noonan said. Supervisor Keith Wirtz seconded the motion, also adding his thanks for the following of the Good Neighbor Policy. The permit was subsequently granted on a unanimous 5-0 vote of the board.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz gave the Supervisors a quick briefing on the upcoming schedule for the Engineer's Office staff in terms of projects in the next few months.

"We're starting work on the final survey and design of the 11-miles of the North and South Bypasses, aiming for a December letting on those, since they are paid for with bond funds," Fantz noted. "In visiting with the Concrete Paving Association recently, we've learned that the paving industry is looking for work. They told us the Department of Transportation's paving is down 50 percent from a year ago, so a December letting ought to be a terrific time to bid this project."

Fantz continued, "At the same time, we need to begin work on the right-of-way for the Rodman road project and we're also working up information on the Silver Lake project, so we'll be working to have landowner informational meetings on the Rodman and Silver Lake projects in there as well, so it's going to mean a lot of long days in our office to meet those deadlines."

The discussion turned to a question about a drainage issue in Joint DD63, Branch L, on the southern boarder of the county. After hearing a request from Rick Hurley a week earlier, Supervisor Keith Wirtz had met with a Pocahontas County Supervisor to look over the problem area.

"We both think a small dipping would be beneficial and something that our long-stick contract could handle," Wirtz told the board and Fantz. "But, the question is, can our Secondary Roads department do this work, when some of it will actually be in Pocahontas County? I don't think their Secondary Road crew does drainage work."

After discussing the issue a few minutes, the board agreed to hold a conference call with the Pocahontas County Supervisors on Aug. 20 to further discuss the project.

In another drainage-related matter, Fantz reported that MidAmerican Energy would be contacting the board, as trustees of DD180, for permission to install a culvert crossing in the open ditch of DD 180 near the new Project Liberty plant southeast of Emmetsburg. "I told them they would have to install at least an 84-inch culvert pipe below the flow line of the ditch and have an agreement with you, so be expecting that request to be coming before you soon.

The supervisors also approved a utility permit request from Iowa Lakes Regional Water to install a three-inch water line under 270 Street in Section four of Walnut Township on a unanimous vote.

The Supervisors also approved a 28E agreement with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to allow for reimbursement of one-half of the expenses incurred in road crossings for the DD15 North project. The board also approved retaining VonBokern Associates of Des Moines as the county's labor negotiator. Additionally, the firm will also assist the county in human resources issues if needed.

In a final item of business, the board approved a $14,54 per hour wage for Joy Currans as Jail Administrator at the Palo Alto County Jail.



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