County commissioners

COMMISSIONER CHRISTIAN OHL (right), congratulates a young man after his conditional-use permit was approved on Tuesday. Also shown are Ron Schmidt (far left) and Troy Uhlir, chairman.

MADISON — At a time when lots of young people are leaving rural areas, Madison County received a little good news.

Members of the next generation of farmers and rural residents had their requests for conditional-use permits approved following public hearings Tuesday before the Madison County board of commissioners.

They included Evan Eucker, doing business as Evan Eucker Pork, for a conditional-use permit for a livestock feeding operation for up to 2,499 hogs on land located west of Madison at the intersection of 827th Road and 545th Avenue.

Eucker is completing a lot split, which will be submitted for approval. The nearest residence is more than a half-mile away and the regulations require them to be at least one-fourth of a mile away.

Eucker said he intends to custom feed the hogs, which will be up to 15 pounds and fed until market weight. The area is zoned ag intensive and scored 360 points on the county’s zoning matrix. It takes 350 points to pass. Eucker said he is trying to get into farming, and this looks to be his best opportunity.

Eucker said he has been working with his grandfather, is working full time at a cooperative near Lindsay and would like to eventually transition to where he can work full time on his farm.

The hogs will be fed for Cactus Farms, based in Amarillo, Texas. They will arrive from Iowa. The pit will be located under the barn. It is large enough to hold manure for up to one year, with the manure spread on the Eucker farm land.

Chairman Troy Uhlir said he appreciates Eucker’s willingness to farm and invest in Madison County.

Also during the meeting, commissioners approved a request from Patrick Hintz for a conditional-use permit to construct a house less than 40 acres on Sunderman’s Southeast Lot Split on property north and east of Battle Creek along 843rd Road.

The house will be on about 5.35 acres of land and is located on a minimum-maintenance road. Hintz will bring the road up to county road standards to his lane, then the county will take over maintenance of it.

John and Kristen Orlowski received approval for a conditional-use permit to build a house on less than 40 acres on Orlowski’s Lot Split, which is north of Madison along 553 1/2 Avenue.

The Orlowskis were approved for a lot split and seek to to build a home on their 4 acres of the property, which they are purchasing from their grandparents.

Kristen Orlowski said they have looked for about five years to purchase land in the country to build a home but hadn’t found any. The owner of the rural house where they live now doesn’t want to sell it, she said, so they are purchasing the land from their grandparents to build.

Among the conditions on both permits were that the residents recognize that they are building in an agricultural area and will be subject to livestock, agricultural odors, dust and other general nuisances.

There was no opposition to the requests expressed on Tuesday, but during hearings before the joint planning commission, some concerns were raised that both areas remain farming in nature.

The conditions attached to the conditional-use permit are attached to the property, so anyone who subsequently buys the houses will need to recognize they are subject to living in the country with the possibility of ag odors and dust, among other things.

The Madison County board of commissioners met Tuesday.

Members present: Chairman Ron Schmidt, Troy Uhlir and Christian Ohl.

Others in attendance: Nancy Scheer, deputy county clerk; Heather McWhorter, zoning administrator; Todd Volk, sheriff; about 12 from the public and two reporters.

Meeting lasted: One hour, 47 minutes.


— Met as a board of equalization and approved a list of tax exemptions and corrections.

— Recited the Pledge of Allegiance and had a moment of silence. Noted the open meetings law is posted and followed.

— Approved the Eckert-Werner Lot Split at 84031 543rd Ave., about 3 miles west of the Battle Creek.

— Approved an amended interlocal agreement with Pierce County for sharing services of the planning and zoning administrator.

— Approved a contract with Vanguard Appraisals Inc. for appraisal specifications for the revaluation of certain real estate property in the Meadow Grove and Newman Grove areas and authorization for the county board chairman to execute agreement.

— Approved a contract with gWorks creating a township district, school district, tax district and fire district layers for Madison County.

— Acknowledged receipt of levy allocations requests for rural fire districts of Battle Creek, Madison, Meadow Grove, Newman Grove and Norfolk, Madison County Agricultural and Norfolk Sanitary District.

— Awarded a contract of $896,325 to Road Guys Construction Co. of Yankton, South Dakota, for armor coat surfacing for 2020.

— Conducted a public hearing and approved an amendment of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund to discontinue and cease any business-type activities.

— Reviewed 2020-21 fiscal year budget requests.

— Reviewed and processed claims.

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