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Dodge County Community Members Push for Administrative Changes

December 07, 2017 04:24 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- A meeting on proposals for administrative changes in Dodge County turned into a heated discussion about large animal feedlots.

"There were a couple people who voiced mistrust with county government and how we deal with feedlots," said Dodge County Environmental Services Director, Mark Gamm.

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The feedlots have been a controversial topic for those in Dodge County.

"You make it easier and easier for feedlots, big factory farms to go into this county,” said community member, Sonja Eayrs.

Eayrs said change needs to happen. She said there are 11 swine factory farms within a three-mile radius and over 200 feedlots in Dodge County.

"The ordinance changes hurt the residents in this county and the ordinance changes are designed to streamline the process for putting more factory farms into this county,” said Eayrs.

"We're so nervous that every time the county tries to change the ordinance, they're trying to make it easier for large feedlots to come into this county and it's got us scared," said concerned resident, Douglas Eayrs.

The topic is so hot people are now talking about a potential change in leadership.

"If you make an announcement widely publicized that people can run for these offices, people will run because people care. You care, people who want feed lots care, people who don't want feed lots care. I mean this is a pretty hot issue," said concerned citizen, Viki Morris.  

Morris’ comment brought the meeting back to the original topic of lifetime tenure for members of the planning commission.

"That's an abusive power. You need to be turning over these positions and allowing other citizens in this county to serve on this board," said Eayrs.

"There's just a little bit of mistrust that was relayed and I think the idea of limiting terms is a way to kind of satisfy some of that mistrust," Gamm said.

The Dodge County Administrator says currently there are term limits on the books for members of the Planning Commission, but because it's had so few applicants over the years, the county hasn't enforced the limits. As a result, a recommendation to remove the "term limit" language is in the works.


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Marissa Collins

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