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Mason City ZBA approves CES permit


This news story was published on December 20, 2011.
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The Mason City Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved a conditional use permit for Creative Energy Systems, moving them one step closer to building a $35 million dollar plant in Mason City.

Click here to view photos.

The board placed 30 conditions on CES. CES has said they would employ 50+ people at their new plant. CES must still get Iowa DNR permits and gain approval from the Mason City City Council, as well as the North Iowa Landfill.

More points from the meeting:

  • A number of persons in the gallery wore “YES to CES” green stickers.
  • It was said that the bosses and / or co-workers of several of the ZBA board members were in the audience.
  • CES has now been interchangeably referred to as ERS.  ERS is a business entity under CES that is doing business in Iowa.
  • The 30 conditions that the ZBA board placed on the CES project can be viewed in the photo gallery; you will have to click through the photos to see them.
  • Growth and Development Director Pam Myhre was not at the meeting.  She was removed as lead for the project by City Administrator Brent Trout.
  • The vote was 4-1, Gary Anderson voted against the proposal
View video:

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27 Responses to Mason City ZBA approves CES permit

  1. Avatar

    Bushpilot Reply Report comment

    January 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    What is a Carbon Credit?

    Why would they be benificial to the average citizen?

  2. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    “Ten years down the road when we have Down syndrome and paralysis cases start popping up everywhere…..”

    You seem pretty sure that will happen. Where is the causal relationship?

    For kicks and giggles, I checked the Ames area for large occurances of Downs Syndrome and whatever else. Guess what? Nada. And the plant there is not even the same type of plant.

    When you go cowering the corner expecting the sky to fall, please don’t wait for me.

  3. Avatar

    Just Me Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Has anyone paid attention to the types of jobs they will be bringing in? Not many are high paying jobs and also who knows what these employees will have to wear to protect themselves from hazards. Also, because of this there will also be lost jobs in the area.

  4. Avatar

    howcanthisbe Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Anonymous since you are such a company expert do they have a clean-up plan in place and funded in case something does go wrong?

    • Avatar

      anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Totally not an expert but I actually read the conditions on the permit. You can read them too, if you are inclined to learn more: http://www.northiowatoday.com/?p=1487

    • Avatar

      Bushpilot Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      I say go to the doctor, get your health checkups. Ten years down the road when we have Down syndrome and paralysis cases start popping up everywhere, we have a good group of governmental officials to hold accountable for misuse of public trust.

  5. Avatar

    howcanthisbe Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Anonymous you must believe in the tooth fairy too.

  6. Avatar

    Bob Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

    That greenest emerald in the nation comment, you better do some more reading about how this process is not considered that great by environmentalists because it produces more carbon than should be expected from a “green” energy source.

    All this bickering because this is the best project that city and county leaders could bring to the table–and where are the clowns, send in the clowns. Don’t bother they’re here.

  7. Avatar

    anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

    howcanthisbe, they are going to have to test quarterly and provide the results to the Zoning Board. They are going to have to have constant monitoring in place and post the results on their web site so anyone can see them any time. You need to do some research and learn what the rules for this facility really are.

  8. Avatar

    howcanthisbe Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    If they can’t comply….how are they going to get caught not complying when they get tested once a year and they may get notice what day they will be tested so a company could manipulate what they burn during that time frame? Some of you people place too much confidence in government watchdogs. It’s a bit of a joke. Do your own research.

  9. Avatar

    Tom Willett Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    However this “shakes-out”, I would like to thank the citizens that did countless hours of research into the health & safety concerns of this project on behalf of the population of our city. I don’t believe they have any agenda other than safety.Whether you are for or against this project, it’s ALWAYS good to question & investigate.I’m disappointed at the personal attacks many endured for their stance, but [I guess]that’s human nature.

  10. Avatar

    betty Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Wow just look at the press coverage by NIT. This is the real deal. The conditions posted here and the photos so we can see the people involved are priceless. The more info, the better informed we the citizens are. Though the CES deal looks not so great it is exciting to see this news site becoming such an important resource for North Iowa. This is what we grew up thinking journalism was supposed to be. Working like a dog, hitting the streets, getting the story. NIT you give me hope for our area’s future at a time when it seems a bit dismal. Keep going and thank you.

  11. Avatar

    comment Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I remember the days of the old deckers plant. It was quite the smell but you know what people lived by there and worked there every day. They prospered and the town prospered. Perhaps we have become too much of a spoiled society. Christ we can’t even say Merry Christmas without offending someone. To stop free enterprise on an assumption of it might smell is just an excuse. As long no toxins are omitted or leaked into the groundwater whats the real beef. I don’t recall MC smelling like burnt rubber when Holcim used to burn tires. Give it a try and if they can’t comply it’s there dollar wasted.

  12. Avatar

    Really??? Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 7:38 am

    To think there will never be an odor coming from a facility like this is ignorant. Just think about how on a nice summer evening your at one of the ballparks or city parks, on your deck or patio, even just out for a walk. The wind is out of the SOUTH in the summer. You will smell it!! I’m not against the idea of the business just the location.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      December 22, 2011 at 7:13 am

      As was stated in a few different hearings, the tipping/sorting building will be the source for air drawn into the gas turbine. What this does is create a negative pressure inside that building, which will require outside air to stream in. With those dynamics, it would be difficult for odors to escape the building.

  13. Avatar

    comment Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2011 at 6:27 am

    An expected result after his highness and his trained monkey applied their terror tactic to Pam and the board. Would expect the next move will be to appoint pocket pals to the landfill board before they vote. Having said that because of my extreme distaste for backdoor politics I believe there will be more than enough regulations to make the facility emissions safe. The EPA cannot be bought off or intimidated. Remember at one time airplanes, cars, tv’s and radios were new and untested. Hopefully the great American tradition of free enterprise will prevail with no more backdoor politics.

  14. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Out of curiosity, do any of you know what the 30 conditions which were placed upon the conditional use permit?

    Next Patriot, we share the same concern, however I am willing to bet DNR will place more than a few restrictions upon any permit they issue for drainage, stormwater retention and treatment. It’s pretty much a given with any sort of large industrial project now a days. Prior to any sort of permit being issued, there is usually a survey and test wells drilled.

  15. Avatar

    MC needs Jobs! Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Are all of you ppl crazy!!! WE NEED JOBS HERE IN MASON CITY!!! You all act like they will be burning and pumping garbage into our water supply. THIS IS FAR FROM THE TRUTH! In fact!! Landfills contaminate the ground water more each day they all other alternate waste plants combined in the USA!!
    If you people keep raising nonsence hell each time a new employer comes to town, befor you know it you all will be burning your own trash for your heat heat because you will not be able to pay for your heat bill when MC shrinks even more!!

    OPEN YOUR EYES!

  16. Avatar

    al4usa Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Time for citizens to lawyer up.

  17. Avatar

    here's the deal Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    An appeal can be filed concerning this decision and a judge would decide it. What do you think?

  18. Avatar

    Patriot Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I wonder if any run off from all of those garbage trucks will enter the shallow ground water at the location they wish to build? You see not far from there is a spring fed creek that drains into ponds on Pierce Ave. which then feed into the creek again then into another pond and finally these all feed into the river behind Hoover school. Won’t all that waste water do wonders for the enviroment!

    I’m sure the people who live in that area with wells will welcome the contaminants as well.

    So, the health department recommends more time and testing and the Mason City zoning board caves into the want’s of a rogue city council. The whole lot should be held responsible if this plant is built and we then find out they are polluting our town and others down stream.

    Again, this is supposed to be government “by the people and for the people”. Our city government is more of a dictatorship. Lets hope the DNR has better judgement.

  19. Avatar

    Wolf bloggie dog Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I do not think there is a zero thinker on either side of this issue. I think along and question the use of the adjective incinerator so many times by those in opposition to the project.
    Society must begin to embrace the need for a value added disposal of it’s waste converted into a upward spiraling energy need.
    Short of solar and wind this could be a great time to start. Continue complimenting with the other two and North Iowa instead being at the tip of the brown triangle could be the greenest emerald in the nation

  20. Avatar

    Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I asked city staff (Tricia Sandahl) the question about what ERS is. I was told ERS is an entity owned by CES to do business in Iowa.

  21. Avatar

    Bushpilot Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    The Zoning plan was for ERS and what is their relationship to CES?

  22. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Buy a couple of baord members drinks at the Park Inn after a meeting and look at what you get!!!! Drinkers in this town rule!!!

  23. Avatar

    ruthie Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    It was to be expected

  24. Avatar

    Time to leave town Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Not surprising! What do you expect from ZERO thinkers?

    It ain’t over yet.