Hogs, security topics for county supervisors

The Greene County supervisors will hold a public hearing next Monday on a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) proposed by Towers Pork (John and Libby Towers) for Highland Township, section 30.

The proposal is for two buildings, each 71’ X 277’, with a total capacity of 4,492 head. Ground in the manure management plan is nearby and is owned by Towers Brothers.

The supervisors reviewed scoring on the master matrix at the April 23 meeting. The matrix scored 455 (440 of a total 800 points are needed for Iowa Department of Natural Resources approval). The matrix takes 101.25 points for air quality, 163 points for water quality, and 190.75 points for community factors. The closest well is 300 feet away and the buildings are 201 feet from the road. The closest neighbor is 2,420 feet away.

The master matrix includes a closure plan but does not include landscaping. Becky Sexton of Twin Lakes Environmental, writer of the plan, said the Towers plan to plan aus trees on the north side of the building after construction.

The public hearing will be held April 30 at 9 am in the board room on the second floor at the courthouse. Click here for the permit application.

The supervisors approved hiring Eagle Ridge Tactical Consulting to prepare a risk assessment of the courthouse. “This is the first necessary step toward development of a comprehensive security plan for the courthouse,” said assistant county attorney Thomas Laehn. He is chair of the recently-formed courthouse security committee.

The plan will cost $1,742, with that coming from the general services line item in the budget.

The supervisors briefly discussed a timeline for securing funds committed for construction of the regional career academy. The county will sell general obligation bonds and repay the bonds using tax increment financing against the first 42 MidAmerican Energy wind turbines.

The supervisors are considering whether to hire a bond underwriter in addition to Northland Securities for the process.

Driveway work is underway at several sites west and south of Paton

County engineer Wade Weiss reported that work on Phase 2 of MidAmerican’s Beaver Creek Windpark started April 20. Driveways to turbine sites are being prepared now in advance of field work on the surrounding farm ground. Additionally, a temporary concrete plant has been built on 160th St west of Highway 144, northwest of Dana.

Supervisor Dawn Rudolph reminded the supervisors of a HVAC project at the courthouse that’s been discussed for several years. She pulled from her drawer at the board table a plan prepared by Brooks Borg Skiles three years ago on HVAC and windows. “We’ve been talking about this as long as I can remember and we need to get something going on this. We’re going to get to where something fails on the boiler and we won’t be able to get parts,” she said.

Rudolph said she’ll contact the architecture/engineering firm about coming to discuss getting a project started.

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