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Zoning Board tells CES to come back later

Jacquelyn K. Aurther, CES attorney
CES attorney Jacquelyn Arthur addresses the Mason City Zoning Board of Adjustment

MASON CITY – The Mason City Zoning Board of Adjustment heard a request from Creative Energy Systems (CES) Tuesday night, asking for a conditional use permit for a proposed $35 million waste to gas plant.

Citizens showed up to argue for and against the permit and the project. Also in attendance was CES CEO Joe Yavorski and CES Engineer Rod Flores.

Those in favor of the project said the city would be passing up jobs and a great opportunity to bring a first-of-its-kind plant to Mason CIty.

One citizen said that jobs are needed in Mason City and that turning down the possibility of 58 of them is wrong.

North Iowa Corridor Director Brent Willett asked the board to move quickly, as the opportunity presented from CES wouldn’t last forever. “We do not have an indefinite period of time,” he said. “The presumption that they are here to stay” is not accurate, he continued.

CES attorney Jacquelyn Arthur outlined the reasons why the conditional use permit should be granted and reminded the board of their role in making that determination. “We believe that (city) staff has put together a long list of conditions” that CES is ready to meet in order to get the permit.

There was a list of 23 conditions put forth by city staff, and CES was ready to agree to 19 of them outright, with 4 left that needed to be worked out, according to Arthur.

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Those against the project said the health risks were too great, and there were too many unknowns. Some pointed to the fact that the plant would be constructed about a mile from Newman Schools.

Some against the project produced detailed findings from their research, discussing the effects of gasification and the super heating of trash to produce gas.

See video:

One speaker, Tom Willett, a local union leader, wasn’t sure whether to support the project or not. “What kind of jobs will they bring, and what will we lose at the landfill?” he asked.

The meeting lasted nearly four hours.

The board postponed their ruling until a later date, and outlined some questions they would like answers to from CES.

A public hearing on the project will be held November 16th at the Mason City Public Library.


Rod Flores and Joe Yavorski of Creative Energy Systems
A crowd gathers in the second floor conference room at city hall, November 1, 2011
A crowd gathers in the second floor conference room at city hall, November 1, 2011
Zoning Board of Adjustment and City staff listen to arguments for and against a conditional use permit for Creative Energy Systems






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