Letters

Letters Vote for fertilizer plant

To the editor:

We have a vote coming on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

This proposed fertilizer plant would be good for the farmers and good for the Clay County taxpayers. It will add to the Clay County tax base and that can lower everyone's taxes. We cannot afford to turn away businesses.

I would think all fertilizer plants should be in the country instead of in the city industrial parks.

I haven't heard one good reason to vote against this.

Let's not vote against this based on some emotional whim. Support a new business.

Jim Adamson

Centerville

Vote no on Nov. 21

To the editor:

Recently the Clay County Commissioners approved the rezoning of some prime agricultural land to I-2 Industrial. At this point a very large chemical and fertilizer plant is planned for the site. In the future, nearly any other form of industry could go in there also. I think it is a big mistake to create that kind of hazard at this location. The site is at the head of a natural drainage leading to the Vermillion River flood plain only one-half mile to the south. A huge amount of chemistry is going to be stored at this site (4 million pounds or so). If some unexpected accident occurred and released a large volume of these chemicals they could go right to the valley below.

If there is a flood going on, as often happens here, this material could be carried for miles. If there is no flood, there is still a big risk. The same shallow aquifer being pumped by Clay Rural Water, only one mile away, lies only 6 to 12 feet below the surface under very porous soil.

It makes no sense to create this kind of risk. It is not vital that this be located here.

For some reason the commissioners have been willing to be a party to keeping this proposal a big secret. Very few people in the county know about this and few understand that this is not simply a request to change from one zone to another.

There is a special election Nov. 21 in all normal precincts to allow the general population in Clay County to vote on this important issue. The long term consequences of this decision are too great to be quietly decided by only four or five individuals.

All of us in the county are potentially affected by this kind of activity. We now have the opportunity to approve or repeal this zoning change.

Please think of future generations in your decision. Please vote no in the special election in your precinct on Nov. 21.

Arden "Pete" Junker

Clay County Voter and concerned citizen

Vote for agri-business

To the editor:

Next Tuesday, Nov. 21, there will be a county-wide referendum election on a re-zoning issue. The land in question is seven acres, 15 miles north of Vermillion on Highway 19, that is adjacent to a parcel of C-1 (commercial). The area is known locally as the seven-mile corner, seven miles south of Centerville and seven miles east of Wakonda.

Earlier this year the owner of the seven acres requested a zoning change from A-1 to I-2, so an agri-business could operate there. The planning commission held a public hearing and unanimously recommended approving the rezoning.

The Clay County Commission held two hearings, received testimony pro and con and unanimously approved the ordinance. The professionals we hear from, the water people and the state geologist, indicated that the proposed location is as good as any location in the county. Since the products from this facility will be used on farm land, it is more desirable to have the plant away from a population center.

Now the opposition is led by a person who covets the seven acres and the adjacent parcel, which is adjacent to his land. He has been able to instill environmental fear in some people. He recommends a site a mile northeast on a gravel road.

Therefore, if you support economic growth for the ag community and an increased tax base for our county, I ask that you afford yourself the slight inconvenience of going to the polls again and vote "YES" on Referred Ordinance 1. The usual voting place will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your county promises an accurate count shortly after receiving the cast ballots.

Please vote next Tuesday.

Paul M. Hasse

Clay County Commissioner

Vermillion

Riverside Township best location

To the editor:

I heard that a proposed fertilizer plant in Riverside Township demands our vote of approval on Nov. 21. Common sense says that it is a better place than heavily populated areas such as our industrial park. If they want to build an agricultural related business in an agricultural area, so be it. They have my approval.

Larry Mart

Vermillion

Be sure to vote November 21

To the editor:

Recently the Clay County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of some prime agricultural land to I-2 Industrial. This was to provide a place to construct a large chemical and fertilizer plant.

The fact that this plant will store a huge amount of chemical and fertilizer at a point directly above a clean aquifer makes this a risky decision.

Many of us attended each public hearing and tried in vain to get the commissioners to listen to the concerns of the many who are opposed to this rezoning. The commissioners not only ignored us, but some were downright rude!

When presented with petitions with over 400 signatures of people opposed, there was kind of a snicker, the petitioners were not even looked at and one of the commissioners responded by saying "We can get our own signatures, too."

We think these commissioners are forgetting that they are elected public officials. They are administrators of laws and regulations which were put in place by popular vote of all of us Clay County residents for the benefit of us all.

County Commissioner is not a legislative position. That means these people are not lawmakers. Having the position of power does not give them the right to ignore regulations presently in place or to change them at will anytime someone buys a piece of land then comes to them and wants to change its designation for his own benefit!

Those of us already here ? residents, taxpayers and voters, have a right to know that our property is protected by the zoning that exists and that these public officials are doing what they are supposed to be doing ? that is administering the present regulations, laws, ordinances, etc., for the benefit of those of us who voted for the regulations in their present form in the first place. If these regulations are to be changed, we should change them.

The current issue has now been referred to a vote of the public on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The same petition signers who were ignored by the commissioners provided enough signatures to get this on a ballot.

This important decision was determined by the vote of only five people! Now all of us have the chance to state our view! Please take this opportunity to express your opinion. It is not too late!

Please vote in your normal voting precinct on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Please vote no!

Vikki Eilts and Patricia Knutson,

residents, landowners, taxpayers and voters of Clay County

Vote no on ordinance

To the editor:

In late August, the Clay County Commissioners approved the request to rezone agricultural land to I-2 industrial, for the purpose of building a very large chemical and fertilizer plant. In spite of a great deal of testimony by opponents and over 400 petition signatures, all pleas not to rezone were ignored.

I think it is a mistake to place a facility of this type at this location. This location is on a hill with a natural drainage leading from the site directly to the Vermillion River floodplain only one-half mile away ? downhill. The soil on the floodplain is very porous. There is only 6 to 12 feet from the top of the ground to the top of the Vermillion � Missouri aquifer. This is the same aquifer that Clay Rural Water is pumping from three wells only one mile away.

The proposed chemical and fertilizer plant is not a small one. According to an article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader on Sept. 25, the facility will store 1,000 tons of dry and 1,000 tons of liquid chemicals above ground. One-thousand tons is two million pounds each!!

At approximately 40,000 pound payload that's roughly 100 semi-truck loads concentrated at one precarious spot at the head of a natural "trough" leading directly to a clean aquifer. This is a time bomb just waiting for some disaster to release thousands of pounds of chemicals to go rushing right down to the porous soil below. When asked, at a hearing, about the likelihood of contaminating the aquifer if a large amount of chemical got to the floodplain, Mr. Stan Pence from the South Dakota Geological Survey replied, "There's a right to be concerned in regards to contamination…".

The location of the proposed plant is referred to as "tornado alley" by those of us who live in the area. Each year we have bad weather that usually produces a few tornadoes. This past summer, when the tornadoes hit Vermillion, one was observed touching down only a half mile from this site. A tornado, explosion, fire, etc. could conceivably cause a large release of material and set in motion a chain of events that could contaminate the aquifer. The proposed plant is about 17 miles from Vermillion. Reaction time would be at least half an hour or more for emergency services.

It makes no sense to create unnecessary risk. A much more sensible decision would be not to locate the facility here in the first place. This is prime agricultural land. It should not be rezoned for any industrial purpose. This facility belongs in an already existing industrial park.

Let's make the decision now to preserve the legacy for future generations of clean water, clean air and clean land.

The special election is Nov. 21. Vote no on Referred Ordinance 1. I think that we have seen from the recent presidential election how important one vote is. Please vote!

Mary Ann Hart

Clay County resident

Clay Rural Water neutral on rezoning

To the editor:

On Nov. 21 the voters of Clay County will vote on a property rezoning issue in Riverside Township.

Recent print advertisements have suggested the Clay Rural Water System has "researched and approved" the rezoning and proposed facility to be constructed at the site.

The Clay Rural Water System Board of Directors has at no time taken a position on the rezoning or proposed facility.

Individuals desiring information can contact the Clay Rural Water System office at 605-267-2088.

Ken Frick

President

Clay Rural Water System, Inc.

Greg Merrigan

Manager

Clay Rural Water System, Inc.

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