Prestage 1

Construction continues for the Prestage Farms hog processing plant in rural Eagle Grove in October.

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette

CLARION | The Wright County Board of Supervisors has approved two CAFO sites, along with two ordinances aiming to correct nuisance-related problems in the county.

Rick Rasmussen, chairman of the board, said that while the board approved the proposals at Monday's meeting, he would like the state Legislature review the state matrix scoring system for concentrated animal feeding operations when it reconvenes.

"I would like to see them boost up what it takes for them to be approved," Rasmussen said by phone Tuesday. "That’s the biggest thing ... so they’ve got all their ducks in a row and they can get after them."

He added he would like to see yearly water testing, manure control and more environmental testing at future sites, including the two just approved in Wright County.

The two LLCs that applied for the sites, Barn Owl Farms and Golden Hawk Farms, are both aiming to build two 2,500-head deep pit swine finisher confinement buildings. Prestage Farms is currently building a pork processing plant in Eagle Grove.

Michael Blaser is the agent listed for both companies, according to state records. He said he doesn't know who will construct the two CAFOs, but added the process to obtain a construction permit takes time.

"You have one year after the (construction) permit is issued to initiate construction," Blaser, an attorney based in Des Moines, said about the process Monday. "And I think then they have four years to complete construction."

Sandy McGrath, administrator of Wright County's environmental health and planning and zoning departments, did not return three phone calls for comment Monday.

Along with the CAFOs, Wright County supervisors completed the third reading of two ordinances — one of which aims to control illegal dumping throughout the county, and the other to "abate nuisances and unsafe conditions," according to the meeting's agenda.

Rasmussen said the two ordinances aim to give law enforcement more power to stop those issues from continuing.

"That's to give law enforcement more teeth," he said. "So they can go after them and pursue and clean them (lots with illegal dumping) out."

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.



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