Unlike the situation in neighboring Story County, there was no outcry during Tuesday’s public hearing as the Jasper County Board of Supervisors gave its recommendation for a hog confinement expansion south of Sully.
Judson Vos’s current confinement holds 2,400 head. Once the expansion is operational, it will be capable of holding 4,800 market hogs.
“We bought our farm in ’87, moved there in ’89 and in 2004, we put up two 1,200 head hog confinement buildings,” Vos said. “Those have worked out real well for us. Our son is now taking care of the pigs. (There is a) lot of benefit to investing in the buildings and what they produce.”
Vos told the board he talked with neighbors about the expansion and had site visits with the state and the county, which he said went well. With the board’s recommendation, his final step is to get approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“Sounds like you are bringing another generation in and the hogs make that a possibility,” board member Joe Brock said. “I’ve been driving around the county the last couple of weeks... (and) I do notice the farm construction, the big silos, the hog buildings, machine sheds. There is a lot of building going on.”
“… Guys like you who are willing to take the risk and make the investment and then put work into it — it’s not easy. I just wanted to thank you,” he continued. “You’re on the right track, and that’s what we need in this county.”
County Engineer Russ Stutt received approval on two matters. The first was renewing the snow removal contract for Rock Creek State Park with IDNR. Under the contract, the county does snow removal in the park areas of Rock Creek, and the DNR reimburses it for the work.
The second matter was an agreement between the county and the Iowa Department of Transportation. The county will receive federal funds to improve streets and highways. Stutt specifically mentioned County Road T-38, which would receive an overlay with the funds.
Jasper County’s Conservation Office received approval to receive a grant from IDOT for $1,366 as a part of the Living Roadway Trust Fund Grant for County Programs. The funding will go toward the purchase of a skid sprayer, which is used for fertilizing, controlling pests and weeds.
The LRTF program started in 1988, and it’s an annual competitive grant program created with the intent to preserve Iowa’s native vegetation alongside roadways.
In other business:
• Jasper County IT Director Celia Robertson announced the county received an $18,231.56 grant from Skiff Medical Center. The grant will cover half the cost to upgrade the county’s Emergency Operations Command Center in Newton.
• The board approved and disapproved applications for 2012-2013 homestead, military and farm tax credits.
• The board approved paying $6,530 in property tax for the county’s farmland for 2012-2013.