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Hog Confinement Concerns

LINN COUNTY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Linn County supervisor John Harris says his constituents are speaking up loud and clear.

The public input I've received is about 4 to 1 against expansion of the Ditch farm, Harris said.

Its is why the Linn County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to appeal the Iowa DNR's decision to allow the hog confinement facility just outside of Center Point.

Harris says there are several reasons why he and residents oppose the facility.

Certainly the odor is a concern, there's an environmental concern also, as far as water pollution.

The new facility would bring the total up to more than a dozen confinements in Linn County, including several in Central City and one in Mt. Vernon.

Mallie Farms operates a confinement just down the street from Theresa Stoneking's door in Mt. Vernon.

We'll have some odor from it from the change of the wind and that, Stoneking said.

She says the operator's practices have minimized the impact, however.

We haven't had any problems with that confinementhe drains the confinements in the evening, hours after dinner time.

Others agree, saying neither smell nor pollution have been an issue.

It's gonna be right there contained, so it's not running out into the field or into the road, resident Brett Brannaman said.

Harris says there are differences between the proposed confinement, and others across the county. Placing one near Center Point would mean placing it near one of the fastest growing cities in Linn County.

To him, it raises an important question.

Does a 4 thousand plus hog facilitycould it beshould it be that close to a growing metropolitan area? Harris asked.

Harris says historically, most appeals go in favor of the farms. The county has about 4 weeks to put their appeal package together.
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