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Supervisors approve expanding hog facility

Adair County supervisors vote 3-2 against similar expanding unit

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:59 p.m. CDT

In a 2-1 decision, the Union County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the recommendation to allow construction that would expand an existing hog confinement in section 6 of the Spaulding Township.

The original building at the Rockin G Ranch site owned by Justin Geidel was not large enough to require Union County Supervisors to fill out the master matrix. The new structure is a 2,480 head deep pit swine finisher barn.

“Our matrix score matched up with the score of the applicants,” said Union County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dennis Brown.

Brown and Ron Riley voted in favor of the recommendation to approve construction. Supervisor Lois Monday was the vote against.

Monday said she received some calls asking her to vote against the expansion and was worried about the inspections that are done to make sure the facility is not leaking manure.

Rockin G Ranch scored a 520 on the supervisor’s matrix score.

“There were valid concerns, but for what we have to work with, which is the matrix process, I believe it met all the parameters,” Riley said.

To receive a passing mark, the site must score a 440 on the master matrix. The matrix score reflects how the site is managed to prevent manure spills and how far it is from other buildings. Applicants can also earn bonus points on their matrix if they, for example, plant trees on the site.

Justin Geidel said there are programs that can help with the funding to plant trees and shrubs on the site and he is looking into the application process.

“It appeared to us they were doing everything that they should,” Brown said. “They are going to be making a big investment in this and I hope they will continue to do everything they can to help that investment.”

Brown said the fact that this was an existing site did factor into his decision, but he added that all sites will be unique situations.

Adair County

The Adair County Board of Supervisors split 3-2 in their vote to recommend that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources deny the construction of another swine facility at Circle G Pork Site owned by Brady Geidel in section 34 of the Orient Township.

The proposed structure is a new 2480 head deep pit swine finisher barn.

“I was not satisfied with the ground water seepage,” said Adair County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Shelley. “There was some uncertainty of make sure it was going to be clean for Adair County for the rest of our lives.”

The supervisors’ final score on the master matrix was below the 440 passing mark.

Shelley, John Twombly and Dave Homan voted against the recommendation for the expansion. Matt Wedemeyer and Cliff Sheriff voted in favor of the recommendation.

“As long as they are done, right, I am OK with it,” Wedemeyer said. “I think these are properly managed and if they want to be in the hog business, I can’t tell them differently.”

Wedemeyer added he thought the matrix process is “convoluted” and it is a challenge for any supervisor to have enough knowledge or run the tests to make sure the manure is not leaking.

Brady Geidel said they worked to improve the site and gain back some of the points the county supervisors took away. The updated master matrix finished with 500 points.

Inspectors for the Iowa DNR came out to Circle G Pork Site to take measurements and plan to visit Rockin G Ranch later this week.

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