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Six hog confinement applications target southwest Webster County

By Staff | Oct 5, 2016

By JOE SUTTER

jsutter@messengernews.net

FORT?DODGE – Six new hog confinements may be going up in southwest Webster County in the near future – and the Board of Supervisors hopes that more people will be informed about them.

“I think one thing that is lacking a little bit in the process is providing notification to property owners,” Supervisor Merrill Leffler said. “We’re only required to put a tiny ad in. Nobody sees it.”

Six applications for new hog confinement facilities will be before the supervisors in upcoming weeks, with one scheduled for next week’s Tuesday meeting.

Two of the facilities are proposed for Elkhorn Township, southwest of Fort Dodge; one in Fulton and two in Roland, north and west of Callender; and one in Gowrie Township southwest of Gowrie.

The supervisors are taking comments on all of those proposals now.

“If you live in Elkhorn, Roland or Gowrie and have any comments, positive or negative, you might want to call a supervisor up and see what we’re dealing with,” Leffler said.

A proposed hog confinement near Clare prompted unusually large negative feedback at last week’s supervisors meeting. Residents in and near Clare said the facility was too close to their town.

The supervisors agreed that the proposed site was too near Lizard Creek, and asked the Iowa Department of Natural Resources not to approve it, while stressing they were only opposed to this location and not to all new facilities.

The DNR has the final say on all these proposals, and has 60 days to make a decision after the supervisors submit their paperwork, Supervisor Mark Campbell said.

At that meeting the supervisors officially heard a request from the county planning and zoning department to ask state lawmakers to reconsider the master matrix, which guides where confinements can be built.

“I was asked by one of our legislators – we’ve mentioned that we’d want to re-look at the matrix system, and he said, ‘If you guys put something together you’d like us to look at, we’ll gladly do that,'” said Supervisor Keith Dencklau Tuesday. “We’ll be getting together with everybody to see what things we think should be changed, and send that down to them.

“It might not go anywhere, but we’ll make an effort to do that.”

The six proposed hog confinements are:

1). West of Callender near Dakota Avenue and 290th Street; hearing Oct. 4;

2). Northwest of Callender near Easter Avenue and 270th Street; hearing Oct. 11;

3). Along 230th Street near Johnson Avenue southwest of Fort Dodge; hearing Oct. 11;

4). Between 280th and 290th streets near Carter Avenue, west of Callender; hearing Oct. 18;

5). Southwest of Gowrie along 390th Street between Baxter and Dakota avenues; hearing not set;

6). Southwest of Fort Dodge near U.S. Highway 20 and Hayes Avenue; hearing not set.

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