Weather Alert

Enough objections kill improvements proposed to drainage district near Bushel Boy on Mason City’s south side

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors this week did not need to take any action on a proposal to make improvements to Drainage District 62 on Mason City’s south side around the new Bushel Boy tomato growing development after the number of people objecting met the threshold to kill the project.

The engineering firm Bolton & Menk when doing a study of the area last year found water runoff that had not drained after a pair of heavy rains between the Bushel Boy development and the Avenue of the Saints. According to their engineer Kent Rode, the Bushel Boy development has changed the manner of waterflow in the area and his assessment is that improvements to the drainage system would improve the situation. Bushel Boy officials say they are not in the belief that their facility has contributed to the issue.

During a public hearing last month, several surrounding landowners were not interested in being assessed for the improvements, but the remonstrance requirements to not do the project were not fully met at that time. The law says that if people who own over 70% of the land within the drainage district as well as over half of the land owners object that any proposed improvements can be defeated. At last month’s public hearing, the 70% threshold had been met, only 11 out of the 24 landowners have filed objections.

Rode says that extra time allowed four more landowners to object.  “The number of objecting acres was 485.27, the number of acres needed was 455.82, so they have made the 70% acre requirement. The number of objections is 15, the total number of landowners is 24, so they needed at least 13 objections and they have met it on the number of landowners portion.”

The supervisors approved preparing plans for reclassifying the district, something Rode says should take place since it had not been done since the district was established in 1918 and the land use will change in the future. Supervisor Tim Latham said it’s a wise decision.   “I feel that things are changing out there and they are going to continue to change and I think for the benefit of all property owners they need to know where we’re going to be in the future.”

The plans would also examine annexing six acres into the district.

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