Eagle Grove Prestage 1

Wright County Economic Development Director Bryce Davis, center, and Supervisors Stan Watne, left, and Rick Rasmussen discuss the proposed Prestage hog processing plant during a meeting in July 2016. 

CLARION — The Wright County Board of Supervisors has established rules for upcoming public hearings regarding a proposed pork processing plant.

Attendees who want to speak at the hearings must provide proof of residence and sign in on a registration form 30 minutes prior to the meeting, according to a resolution passed Monday.

The hearing regarding the $240 million Prestage Foods of Iowa plant locating in rural Wright County is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 25.

“We don’t want our public hearings to become a circus,” Wright County Economic Development Director Bryce Davis said.

Each registered speaker will have two minutes to speak. Public discussion will be limited to two hours.

“Wright County residents will speak first, then the bordering counties and after that, if there’s time, people from the other areas not surrounding our county may speak,” Davis said.

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Organizations are allowed to have only one representative speak on their behalf. The resolution says any outbursts, personal attacks or interruptions will be met with a warning and possible removal from the hearing.

“The meeting should be calm and orderly,” Davis said.

About 60 people attended the supervisors meeting Monday, where the three-person board unanimously moved a rezoning ordinance to the second reading. The ordinance affects the 150-plus-acre property by the southwest corner of Highway 17 and 320th Street.

If passed, the property zoning will change designation from agricultural to industrial.

Davis said the next step in the process will be a development agreement for the proposed plant, which would be located 5 miles south of Eagle Grove.

In the first phase, the $240 million project is expected to produce about 900 jobs. After much public discussion and feedback, the Mason City Council rejected Prestage May 3 with a 3-3 vote.

Before the meeting, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that also opposed the Mason City proposal, organized a demonstration on the courthouse lawn involving more than 20 people.

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