Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 16, 2017

Hog confinement planned for subdivision

By DIANE VANCE | May 06, 2014

Jefferson County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a minor subdivision Monday off Germanville Road for Ryan Robertson, but not without some questions.

Supervisor Becky Schmitz asked what the subdivision would be used for, which Robertson said would be a hog confinement.

“Is this an expansion or a separate confinement?” Schmitz asked.

Robertson, owner of KK Finishers, a more than 2,200-head hog confinement in Penn Township, said it would be a new, separate hog confinement.

“It’s a different entity with different owners,” he said.

Audience member Diane Rosenberg, executive director of Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors Inc., asked how close the proposed new hog confinement would be to Robertson’s existing hog confinement. Robertson replied, 100 feet.

Rosenberg also asked who the owner is and who the corporation agent is, but Robertson said that information has not been filed yet and he wouldn’t say.

“We are dealing this morning only with a legal split of property,” said supervisor chairman Dick Reed. “We can discuss the minor subdivision request, because that’s what we’re dealing with. The land has been rated CSR-61.”

Corn suitability ratings range from a high of 100 to a low of 1 point, rating the soil’s health for growing corn. Acreage with a high CSR score is more likely to be used for growing crops.

After the supervisors’ vote, Reed told Robertson the next step for him was to get the minor subdivision recorded.

The official designation of the subdivision is Parcel C in the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of 9-72-8.

In other business Monday, the supervisors approved two housing enterprise zone applications described by Adam Plagge, executive director of Fairfield Economic Development Association.

Martin Brett, co-owner and operator of Vastu Design & Construction Inc. in Fairfield requested a housing enterprise zone for land east of Reiff Grain & Feed, to build additional single family homes in the north campus area of Maharishi University of Management.

CBC Financial requested a housing enterprise zone for the eight to nine acres surrounding and including The Broadway Building, for renovations planned next year.


Heartland wants assurance

Though Heartland Co-op was not on Monday’s meeting agenda, Plagge mentioned that Heartland Co-op was looking for an assurance about the board’s April 21 vote to provide a one-year tax abatement incentive to Heartland Co-op.

Heartland Co-op issued a press release in April that it would move ahead with its plan, announced in December, to build grain storage facility east of Fairfield.

By the end of April, Fairfield’s Overland Sheepskin Company and members of the Leahy family, owners of Overland and 80-acres with four family residences and a 150-head llama farm across Nutmeg Avenue from the proposed grain elevator, filed temporary and permanent injunctions against Heartland Co-op.

According to public access Iowa Courts Online, the first hearing in the legal case is at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the Jefferson County courtroom, presided over by Eighth Judicial A District Court Judge Myron Gookin.

Plagge also suggested the supervisors evaluate applying for a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant for helping upgrade roads for the grain elevator facility.

“RISE grants are available from the Iowa Department of Transportation for road improvements,” said Plagge. “The amount of the grant is $11,000 per job created by a new enterprise that meets certain salary targets. Jefferson County could apply for $66,000 in RISE grants for road upgrades.”

Heartland Co-op has projected providing six permanent jobs at the Fairfield grain elevator after it’s built.

County engineer Scott Cline said Heartland has applied, and is paying, to dust-proof a portion of Nutmeg Avenue for the construction phase.


Nuisance property

Residents in Abingdon shared photos of a property there in need of cleanup, and described it as vermin-infested. Photos showed abandoned vehicles and piles of trash bags. One neighbor said the property had seemingly been without running water for a period this winter and he didn’t think the septic system was operating.

“We’ve attempted to get this property cleaned up before,” said Reed. “We’ve sent letters and nothing has changed. We need to start the process again.”

At the April 14 board of supervisors meeting, Reed had told one property owner, who appeared before the board to request the county vacate a street in Abingdon, he would not approve the street vacation until some of the properties were cleaned up,

“I’d like to take the opportunity to enforce cleanup of some of the adjoining properties, as there have been abandoned vehicles and other junk in the yards,” Reed said April 14.

Monday, Reed said the supervisors would ask the county attorney to write a letter to the owners of the nuisance property.


Finalizing mental health region

Schmitz reported a 28E Agreement for Southeast Iowa Case Management was near approval.

“It’s been a work in progress,” she said. “The main difference in this new agreement is dealing with counties and regions according to the new state law. Louisa County joined the region now. This agreement has been reviewed by attorneys and Central Point of Coordination directors.”

Supervisor Lee Dimmitt questioned a liability issue.

“This says it indemnifies the counties. Shouldn’t it also indemnify the region?” he asked.

Schmitz said she would check with Pat McAvan, Jefferson County assistant attorney.

Likewise, the 28E Agreement for Southeast Iowa Link had changes due to Iowa’s law for counties to join together to provide mental health services by region rather than counties. Supervisors approved SEIL’s 28E Agreement.

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