Supervisors discuss comprehensive plans

The Webster County Board of Supervisors discussed a proposal for the Webster County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Tuesday.

Board Chairman Bob Singer said the board had received four proposals for updates to the current plan, ranging in cost from $19,550 to $68,860.

Supervisor Clark Fletcher suggested that before going forward with hiring a firm to assist with updates to the county’s plan, that the language for the usage of land at the North Central Ag Industrial Park site should be reviewed and amended.

“I appreciate that we have the information on the comprehensive land use plan but I don’t think it should be our intention to enter into contract with any firms at this time because we want to amend the language in the usage of the Ag Park. I believe we can do that through the amendment process which involves input from the public. Right now I don’t believe we have it in our budget to review the whole plan.”

Supervisor Merrill Leffler said he agreed that the county needs to do what would be most cost effective for the county.

“We need to find the most cost-effective way,” said Leffler. “We need to proceed and do what we need to do with this particular piece of property.”

Planning and Zoning Administrator Sheilah Lizer said the plans are very detailed and that it is important to hire an outside consultant for any plans that are updated or amended.

“You need to look at will it be feasible for the public to change the language,” she said.

Margo Knippel who owns property near the Ag Park and is a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed her concern that amendments to the plans in the region of the Ag Park would allow for other industries to develop at the site West of Fort Dodge.

“I’m concerned if you are going to make changes to the Ag Park that would allow other industries there other than ag,” said Knippel. “When it comes to rezoning I wouldn’t feel comfortable with rezoning because I don’t feel that we would have the public input that is necessary.”

“My concern is there is a time limit to get this done,” said Leffler. “I’m not in favor of going through with the whole thing but I want to get the process moving. We need to decide very quickly what we are going to do and get a timeline in place.”

Fletcher said if the board plans to amend the language for compatible usage of the Ag Park that the process of receiving input from the community needs to begin soon.

“To spend $20,000 to amend the language is way too much,” said Fletcher. “The key is we need to start the public input process. The first thing we need to do as supervisors is see what compatible uses we want to include.”

Knippel said she would be in favor of some changes to the usage of the Ag Park but that there should still be a limit on what types of businesses are allowed to locate there.

“I’m all for changing it, but I don’t want to make it so that every time a new business wants to come in we can make a change for them,” she said.

In other business, the board also discussed the intention to appoint a new county attorney.

“It is our intention to appoint a county attorney,” said Singer. “I believe we have well-qualified people in our county and I would encourage any of them to come forward if interested in being appointed.

A public hearing on the appointment of a county attorney will take place at 10:30 a.m. June 11

The board also approved establishing a 25 mph speed limit along Riverdale Drive east from Madison Avenue and the placement of a stop sign at northbound Madison Avenue at the intersection of 180th Street.