DNR grants Taylor permission to build hog confinements

Published: Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 11:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 11:01 a.m. CDT

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Mike Taylor of Taylor Family Farms will be allowed to build two large hog confinements southeast of Creston.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) notified Taylor and Union County officials last week they are granting Taylor’s request for construction permits for two hog confinements in Grant and Highland towships of Union County. The two hog confinements are capable of holding a total of 10,000 hogs.

The two hog confinements have been a hot topic in Union County since Taylor submitted the original permit applications in May.

Since then, two public hearings have been held with more than a dozen families living near the hog confinements strongly contesting the confinements, citing reduction in property values, odor and excessive cost of upgrading the county roads leading to the confinements.

Per Iowa Code, Union County Board of Supervisors may contest the decision made by IDNR by filing a timely demand for hearing before the Environmental Protection Commission within 14 days. Once the county submits an appeal, the commission would have 35 days to render a decision.

The county supervisors are meeting in closed session with Tim Kenyon, county attorney, this morning to discuss the DNR’s determination and decide whether to pursue the appeal process.

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Complete background

In a June public hearing, Taylor asked county officials to allow him to build two hog confinements southeast of Creston.

More than 50 farmers and homeowners attended that public hearing, most of whom lived within a two-mile radius of the proposed hog confinements.

And, all were in strong opposition to the confinements being proposed by Taylor.

One of the proposed hog confinement locations is less than 2,000 feet from the home of Dick and Debbie Linderman. At least 12 families live within one and a-half miles of the hog confinement locations, and many of those families voiced concerns to the board in June about the odor from the hog confinements and possibility of the confinements reducing their property values.

The Union County Board of Supervisors unanimously denied Taylor’s proposal with Bob Brown, board chairman, stating “there are good locations for hog confinements, and bad locations for hog confinements and this location isn’t one of the better ones.”
Several supervisors were also concerned with the cost of fixing the roadway leading to the confinements.

In early August, Taylor filed an amended master matrix at the county auditor’s office. Taylor made upgrades to the master matrix, had the matrix re-scored, and according to the documents filed Aug. 6, he suggests he’s improved his matrix score from 440 to 510 points.

Then in late August, Taylor notified DNR officials he was withdrawing his original permit application to build two new hog confinements southeast of Creston.

Less than 12 hours later, Taylor filed a new application for the hog confinements, including the revised master matrix with the Union County auditor’s office. The supervisor’s then reviewed the new application and scheduled the public hearing held Monday.

The proposed hog confinement applications were reviewed by the DNR last week.

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