July 13, 2006

Downing Board Hears From Public at Hog Confinement Meeting

The board of the City of Downing met in regular session on July 3, with Mayor Sabin presiding. Others present were Aldermen Seamster, Fry, Phillips and Bruner, Carolyn Anderson, Tommy Anderson, Richard Buford and Willa M. Gooden.

Copies of the agenda, minutes of the previous meeting, water/wastewater reports, deposits and disbursements were given to the board members. The minutes were approved as written, w/ww reports were reviewed and payment of bills was allowed.

The Appreciation Day’s electric bills were in excess of the usual amount at this time last year and there was an enormous amount of water used. This was brought to the attention of the committee. One of the restroom stools had stuck and they had trouble with a water heater, also. We will appreciate their effort to monitor the utilities more carefully.

We are looking into the possibility of contracting a solid waste management company to do city-wide collection.

Street improvement will be done on 2nd Street and S. Prairie Street in the near future. There were complaints about not applying dust control this year.

Several concerned citizens, representatives from Cargill, and county commissioners from both counties attended our meeting to gain more information about the hog confinement that Doug and Dee Ruth plan to build northeast of town. Tim Steinkamp, a Cargill representative, presented information regarding the proposed confinement. After this initial meeting, Kathy Middleton gave the board flyers on “Odor Control for Animal Feeding Operations” published by USDA. These are available at City Hall.

Other topics discussed were the weed/debris ordinance and problems, dogs not being properly confined, and structure demolition. Each of those present at the end of the meeting commented on a positive aspect of the Downing community. This was refreshing in a world, which sometimes appears to be full of negativity.

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