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Hog Farm on Lee County Radar

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Lee County wants to make sure its residents are aware of new farm operations that can be considered controversial at times.

The Board of Supervisors has stayed out of the discussion about hog confinements in the past. 

Lee County has been one of the few counties in Iowa to reject the state DNR’s Master Matrix, which is a scoring system for such facilities.  It has also avoided making a ruling on permits because the DNR has the final say.

The lack of involvement is part of the reason why the Board of Supervisors was just recently made aware of a proposed hog confinement near Donnellson.

The facility has concerned some potential neighbors.  They want the supervisors to provide more information about proposed hog confinements to the public.

Chairperson Janet Fife-LaFrenz says Lee County’s only action in the process is to accept the manure management plan for a facility.  That document does not go before the Board of Supervisors.

Fife-LaFrenz wants to make that process more open by adding the receipt of the manure management plans to the weekly meeting agendas.

She says this would not apply to renewal plans for existing operations.

The neighbors who spoke about the confinement during this week’s meeting told the supervisors they do not oppose the facility.  They said they are concerned about environmental and infrastructure issues.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.