The Ottumwa Courier

March 2, 2013

Applicants address crowd on concerns over proposed hog confinement

Lot is located four miles southwest of Batavia

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

BATAVIA — More than 60 people crowded into the Community Center to discuss hog confinements and the latest construction permit application.

That’s because the Wapello County Supervisors have received a construction permit for a confinement feeding operation.

The applicant is Nick Adam of Batavia, and he has proposed two new 2,480-head deep-pit swine finisher confinement barns for a new swine confinement facility.

Shawn Adam, who lives four miles southwest of Batavia, and his father, Nick, are working on the new confinement operation.

“Our farm is a 40th Year Family Farm,” he said, adding that he’s worked in the business for the past seven years.

Nick Biggs, who works in the pork industry in Ottumwa, said he appreciated all the questions and hoped he answered most of them.

After the meeting, Biggs said there were a lot of questions and concerns from the people who attended. Some were polite and some weren’t.

One woman wondered how to address the drop in property values on land used for a hog confinement.

Biggs said he had contacted Iowa State University about property values lowering after the finishing barns appeared. The university staff told him house prices were lowering.

The first item from the crowd was about odor.

“Some say there’s an odor around Washington and Hedrick, and we have the same arguments here,” Biggs said.

He cautioned people to ask questions about the articles they read.

“Some projects take three years, and the quickest take place in six months,” Biggs said. “There are of lot of things to consider, such as the rules and regulations of the community.”

The application is on file at the county auditor’s office and is available for public inspection 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Written comments may be filed at the county auditor’s office until March 11.

As Shawn Adam said, the process isn’t perfect yet but technology is growing by leaps and bounds. He hopes friends and neighbors will give him a chance to work on the confinement area.

Adam said spring is coming and he’s looking forward to the “tree buffers” that will help dissipate manure odors.

“We’ve gone above and beyond what’s required in being a good neighbor,” he added.