Public hearing on Paton Township CAFO next week

There will be a public hearing on a proposed 7488-head swine finishing unit next Monday, Aug. 24, at 9:30 am at the county board of supervisors meeting.

The supervisors at their meeting Monday reviewed and scored the master matrix submitted by Pinnacle, an agriculture consulting company. Brian Ritland of Pinnacle and Ryan Pudenz of Prestage Farms were at the scoring, but the applicants, Scott Walker and Adam Bauer, doing business as S & A Partners LLC, were not.

The swine finishing operation will be located in Paton Township, Section 25 – the north side of 150th St between X Ave and the Greene/Boone county line. The property is owned by Ironman LLC, a Vaughn Bauer company. The operation will have three buildings with a proposed animal unit capacity of 2,995.2. The hogs will be owned by Prestage Farms.

The master matrix scored 475 points, with 440 needed to pass. The matrix took no points for landscaping or a closure plan. County zoning official Tim Healy asked about landscaping. Pudenz said he talked with Walker and Bauer about that. “It’s something we planned out with Scott. It [the matric] scored good enough without taking landscaping [points]. That gives us flexibility down the road to continue to do what we want to do, not be tied in to what the matrix requires us to do. That’s something we’re looking at down the road.”

Supervisor Tom Contner asked what the landscaping might be. Pudenz repeated that he has to talk to Walker. “We’re not tied to anything right now. But that’s something we might look at down the road,” he said.

“I think that landscaping makes it look awful nice,” Contner said.

The matrix also purposely sidestepped a closure plan. “We have no way of knowing what the requirements would be at that time, so we try not to answer that,” Ritland said. “We’ll have to play by whatever the state has at that time.”

Ritland said he would talk with Walker about adding some sort of closure plan. “I don’t see why he would mind,” Ritland said.

Healy noted that the county does not want to be left holding a CAFO should it close at some time in the future. Ritland replied that the state has an indemnity fund into which producers pay that would cover any needed clean-up of the site in the future.

Also on the agenda for next Monday at 10 am is the scoring of a master matrix for Davis Hoyt LLC in Franklin Township.


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