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MASON CITY | Cerro Gordo supervisors passed a resolution Tuesday adopting the state's master matrix for evaluating confinement feeding operations.

Planning and Zoning Administrator John Robbins said the resolution gives the county the authority to hear complaints about the matrix and make appeals to the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of county residents in disputes over concentrated animal feeding operations.

The matrix is a state set of guidelines used to determine whether a property owner meets qualifications to build CAFOs.

Many North Iowa residents have complained that the matrix has too many loopholes that make CAFO approval too easy.

Counties have the right to appeal to the Department of Natural Resources to stop CAFO construction, but Robbins said if the CAFO passes the matrix test, the DNR will not grant the appeal.

Cerro Gordo County supervisors experienced that in 2016 when they appealed to the DNR to reject a CAFO application but were rebuffed because it met the matrix requirements.

Supervisor Casey Callanan said the county was not required to pass the resolution Tuesday but that it creates the venue for citizens to air complaints and for supervisors to hear them.

"That's important," said Supervisor Tim Latham."It's good for us to have the input."

In other business Tuesday, Callanan was elected chairman for the third consecutive year. Chris Watts was elected vice chairman.

Supervisors also approved appointments to 29 boards and committees.


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