The Illinois Department of Agriculture will wait until next month (September) to hear from Iroquois County whether the County Board will say Yes or No to a proposed livestock management facility at Stockland.
The Board (Tuesday) voted to table its decision until more information can be gathered about three sites for an operation. Some usual concerns were aired by residents living near the site. Their reasons for opposing it include potential water supply problems, odors and truck traffic that could damage roads.
Board Chairman John Shure suggested waiting until September’s meeting to decide – just to make sure all questions are answered to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Nic Anderson is with the Department of Agriculture. He says the County has until September 18 to make a decision, so this delay is OK. Two additional hog barn locations will also be topics of discussion for a public hearing.
The three sites are respectively labeled E4, E5 and E6. The first was a priority at the August 6 hearing.
Anderson and Wade Harrison, Busi Development Mg for Effingham Equity spoke about $15 to $20,000 in new tax revenues, economic development, and just a good investment in agriculture. Wade Harrison told the Board he appreciated the fact that board members Donna Crow and Leann Duby visited one of the company sites to educate themselves about the operation. Effingham Equity is in 22 locations, having started in Edgar County and now expanding into Indiana.
Dr. Peggy Wilken and Mark Tweedy are neighbors to the proposed confinement operation. They questioned the affects on water supplies and potential damage to roads. Wilken said a lack of pre-information raises too many concerns.
County Board member John Zumwalt’s motion to step up the vote and get Parkes Livestock moving forward was delayed by Tuesdays vote. He said the Department of Ag showed the proposal had passed the criteria test and he's confident the operation will be ok. Zumwalt also pointed out ag operation have evaporated over the years in Iroquois County and this is a positive for the ag economy. Zumwalt added, concern about the water issues and others are legitimate but he believes the Ag department has handled that explanation. He urges people to attend the public hearings to educate themselves.