The controversial ammonia storage tank proposal in rural Scott County is now in the hands of county supervisors. The public got their chance to voice opinions in front of the board Thursday night.
There are still many of the same concerns over traffic, security, and the company's safety record. On the other hand support there was support, some with the argument that a 30,000 gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tank would benefit area farmers. Five acres on 290th street near Scott Park Road is what Crop Production Services aims to get re-zoned.
The planning and zoning commission voted in favor of the project in November. Though these facilities may be common in the Midwest, county supervisors say they've been to the site and they're doing their homework. Company reps say the facility would operate seasonally, two months in spring and two in the fall, with five to ten employees.
"Enable farmers to get there anhydrous ammonia closer to home and hopefully save money at the same time," said Larry Minard, Chair of the Scott County Board of Supervisors. "There are issues regarding transportation of the material and the rest. It's kind of convenience versus safety."
'They need to do it responsibly and safety is a concern. But that's why we look to the government to make sure they jump through those hoops," said Mike Holst, President of the Scott County Farm Bureau.
Facilities like this do follow state and federal regulations with annual safety training. Crop Productions Services has hundreds of sites across the country, the closest is in Wyoming, Iowa. Other companies do have ammonia storage tanks that are similar nearby. There are several in Eldridge and Walcott.
The first of two readings required on the re-zoning will be at the January 17th board of supervisors meeting.