Proposed changes in Dodge County to bring more large farm factor - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Proposed changes in Dodge County to bring more large farm factories get the go ahead

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MANTORVILLE, Minn. (KTTC) -

After about two hours of discussion and public hearing on Wednesday, the Dodge County Planning Commission approved an amendment that would bring more large factory farms.

The public hearing was held to consider an amendment to the Dodge County Zoning Ordinance, which included Chapter 18: Administration, Chapter 19: Enforcement and Chapter 21: Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems.

Citizens who voiced their concerns at the meeting mentioned noise, smell and pollution.

Attorney Sonja Trom Eayrs, who is also the daughter of a farmer, said the changes don't benefit citizens, and that they streamline the process of approving factory farms.

She submitted a written comment on behalf of 16 concerned citizens.

Eayrs knows first hand about the issues a swine factory farm would bring, she said there are eleven of them within a three-mile radius of her family farm.

"It's dangerous living by these facilities. My father had hydrogen sulfide poisoning just a few weeks ago when they were spreading manure just a few feet from our land," she said. "And it's dangerous for people to live by these, to be near these facilities, you can imagine the stench from one facility, let alone eleven."

Another topic discussed was Chapter 18: Administration, regarding term limits. Some citizens did not want members to serve more than the six year limit.

Eayrs says those positions aren't placed in the newspaper, and that they need to be more transparent.

Board members said it's very hard to get people to fill open Planning Commission positions.

Zoning Administrator Melissa DeVetter said in the past they put it in the papers, it cost around $600 and no one applied.

After the public hearing Eayrs headed to another town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday where she said they're working on putting the 12th swine factory farm near her family's farm.

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