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Landfill director: ERS agreement would be detrimental to LNI

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – North Iowa Landfill Director Bill Rowland is not supporting an agreement between the landfill and Energy Recovery Specialists (ERS), a company from Colorado that wants to build a $35 million dollar waste to energy plant in Mason City.

In a letter to North Iowa Landfill Board members, Rowland (pictured with LNI attorney James Locher) touches on the success the landfill has had in becoming a “premier facility” and said that it is “critical” that each community weighs in on a vote on the contract which will take place Thursday evening. “At no time in recent history has the LNI Board been asked to make a decision of this magnitude and potential economic risk,” Rowland wrote.

At a landfill board meeting in January, a consulting company, Foth Infrastructure, questioned the viability of the ERS plant. At that same meeting, newly-appointed board member Scott Tornquist of Mason City urged the LNI Board to move forward and make a deal with ERS as quickly as possible, despite the fact that there was no contract that had been negotiated between ERS and the landfill.  Watch video of Tornquist addressing the LNI Board in January:


Many board members were not buying what Tornquist was selling, based on comments that were made.

One board member said “we just got this.” Another said “you can’t even buy a house in two weeks.” Another said “I just feel like this is being shoved down our throats.” LNI attorney James Locher said “I would prefer to have several months for something of this magnitude. There will be considerable backing and forthing on this… that’s a difficult thing.”

Just this evening, Hampton’s Mayor Shawn Dietz, who represents Hampton on the LNI Board, seemed to indicate he agreed more with the Foth report than Tornquist.  “To say this proposed facility and proposal ‘doesn’t pass the sniff test’ is putting it mildly,” he said.  Dietz also said “there is something that doesn’t add up, and it would not be in the best interest of any of the smaller communities from a financial standpoint to vote in favor of such an agreement.”

Since the last landfill board meeting, the landfill’s attorney, James Locher, has been working with ERS’s attorney Jacqueline Aurthur on a contract that would bind the landfill to ERS for at least a decade. That contract, again, is set to be voted on Thursday night.

Whether or not any LNI board members have even seen this contract is not known.

ERS claims they will bring over 50 jobs to Mason City.  Their project has been dogged every step of the way by citizens who say the plant will have unsafe emissions and will be located too close to schools and the Newman Daycare, just 1.5 miles away.

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It’s hard to find educated people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

I am so proud of the way the LNI board meeting went tonight. There was a real exchange of ideas and a lot of inquiry.

I really respect the landfill board members and the way they voted their conscience.

Anyone who was there would be proud of the LNI leadership and board. It was a first rate contract that was hammered out. And the exec board and lawyers did it to protect the landfill in the event that the contract were ratified.

I am very pleased it wasn’t.

Can we create fifty new jobs in the community by growing what we have and everyone shopping locally instead of online?

I spent $240 for an electronic device no one sells in Mason City, much less Iowa. I went looking for a laptop battery, same thing, no one wanted to order it (one retailer told me they were no longer available). Yada, yada, yada! Food items, clothing, are just a few of the things I want, but no one will order locally. Hey, at least the local UPS guy keeps his job.

I am not going to go down the list naming names and embarrass business people (some of them with the signs to “Buy Local” in their windows).

I will say, as I have prior, that there are worthy retailers in town who are interested in what a customer wants, and they often are more than willing to supply me. There are retailers and vendors who go out of their way to make sure there is ample stock. They have my gratitude!

A profile on the internet says Brent Willett went to U of Iowa. Zoom shows a Brent Willett listed as U of I with B.A. in English and Lib Arts. Is that him? I thought he had a degree in Finance if he felt qualified to judge an outside expert’s financial analysis as being amateur. Why don’t we have an independent financial expert look at it and explain how the numbers will work? Could we just go with the facts?

Oh knock it off! rude? Rude is the scam being presented to us. These guys better stay manned up and kick the insanity right out of them. We are the test. NOT WORTH a couple of jobs. All for Bookmeyer’s resume which doesn’t matter anymore anyway he blew it but good. He is one heartless creep. Although Book you could get job there when your term is OVER…hmmmm maybe go through with it with that thought. Actually if it does we will need another wing at the hospital and another cemetary.

So the owner of North Iowa Today needs to go back to flipping burgers, absolutely rude and uncalled for comment. I believe in a general participation form of democracy. That comment sums up what is truly going on in this community, the elitist’s model of governerment
To bookmeyer and Willert and the rest of the bozos that think they are better than everyone else. My advice is fairly simple and to the point.
Flipping burgers whether that is somebody’s choice or a form of feeding their families is much more admirable than running for office when you are a stay at home dad, that is truly an embarrassment the reason why the mayor doesn’t have a job is more than likely he is unemployable, in my opinion and folks just wait until the news of this Willert character comes out. He actions are much stronger than his words in terms of his belief in North Iowa.

Brent Willett, Brent Trout and Eric Bookmeyer have lived in Mason City 10 years combined, do you really think they give a sh!t about Mason City?
They’re certainly building their resume to get the hell outta here! and leave us to live with their dream.

Listen, this isn’t about creating jobs or curing our mediocre sized towns economical problems. Over the past few months we’ve heard the concerns of the environmental issues, which I am for 100%. Tonight is really about the landfill and what an awesome thing that they are doing out there. I’m not sure if this plant will affect the employees out there or not but I do know an old saying that is “why fix something that isn’t broken.” For what it’s worth, I live on the South part of town.

Well if you had concerns, you have not listened very well to what was explained, either that, or you refused to comprehend what was presented.

I’ll say it again, this Marquardt guy needs to mind his own business if he has one and lay off the council and mayor and the other leaders. They are doing a fine job bring jobs and growth here, this cretive energy plant being an example.

You can’t be talking about Mason City and if you are you are nuts!!!

BW, only intelligetn comment I have read here all day. This Marqwuardt person thinks he runs this town and can boss around the city counicl and knows more then them. He need to go back to his job flipping burgers with the other losers!!

Had lunch today at State Street Deli, ran into two members of the EDC corridor group, They shared their displeasure with Brent Willett and his negative comments in the globe gazette.

1. Mr. Trout lied about ces from the begining.

2. Joe D. Yavorski lies (no emissions)

3. Globe gazette prints lies, with no corrections

4. Trout bans weaver from talking to staff

5. Zba cuts out public imput

6. The words hoodwinked, sinister, and bullied all fabricated by brent willett and globe to taint oppostion.

7. Tricia sandahl put in charge and builds new phoney case for ces, protecting her job and promotion.

happy–all the garbage can not go to ERS. They only want combustible materials and they have to have a place to take ash.

I’m wondering that if all the garbage were to go to ERS would Bill be out of a job?

Thank you Matt on your great reporting and keeping the public informed!
Thank you Bill Rowland for taking a stand for what you believe is in the best interest of all of North Iowa!

You see…here in this city there is hope for righteousness; there are those who will not be pushed into bad decisions by fast talkers. The entire area has won a hard fought battle today. I realize that victory cannot be claimed until the “fat man” sings but tonight I think he’ll do more than sing, I think he’ll cry in his beer.


Oh my god Mr. Trout. You mean that same past city council that the Mayor and the Globe have tried to blame the destruction of civilization as we know it on voted to approve this. How could this be. Has to be a typo error.

Good job Matt and Bill. Bill Rowland is a very intelligent person who I am sure has done his research. If he says it’s a bad deal then I believe him. Anything Turncoat is in favor of is probably bad for the rest of us. The only thing he and his boss want is to improve their resume’ and increase their power base. Boy, I bet this hurts.

Interesting Trout is going to attend the meeting. Why not send the real weasel behind so much of the backdoor politics now going on in MC. Replacing every board member he can with his cronies, removing Pam Myre from the process, attempting to remove the public speaking from the council meetings, major conflict with human services, alleged accounts of drunken behavior around town, personally hearing him talk like gutter trash at a fund raiser in front of many people. Do whats best for everyone LNI no matter what your decision.

The drunken behavior is not alledged, it is factual.

Without a doubt backdoor and turncoat are already plotting how to pressure someone disagreeing with them. Great job LNI. You represent all the area not just backdoors country club backers.

Lots of red flags. None of which was the alternative agenda that wiilert/bookmeyer wanted to build their resumes on MC tax payers dime and leave us with unproven technologies, possible health risks along with a myriad of other problems

Keep up the good work Willert. At this pace you will be promoting Amway to senior citizens.

Polish your resume up kid because you have been Exposed.

Thank you Matt for some great NEWS reporting.

Now that Mr. Rowland, the LNI director has made a determination on the CES/ERS project watch the Globe Gazette swing into action and ATTACK Mr. Rowland and the LNI Board of Directors.

On another note:
Mason City’s leadership is one of the worst City Government’s in the city’s history.

Spending out of control

Disregard for Citizens Rights

No Concept of what leadership is all about.




Advice my father gave me!

When in doubt, don’t!

Good advice.

What turned me against this project was.
1. Brent Willett from the corridior edc group/ phony word smith and fast talker.
2. Mr. Trout taking pam myre off the job
3. Mc. Zba breaking the rules
4. Mc councilman scott tornquist ultimatum and personality

All red flags for me.

How did the ZBA break the rules?

They probably will not answer, they never have an argument based on facts. From the start, the use of scare tactics, and half-truths about this project have been blatant. Or they ignore what is published and provided as if it does not exist.

I have seen it all before, and when you ask for specifics, they hem and haw, or change the subject. In some cases, they attack you for even having the “gall” to question them. It’s pretty sad that so many people resort to using cheap shots and fearmongering.

Glad to hear that Mr. Rowland and others are not going to be forced into a situation by a new board member who thinks he is a God.

No one with any sense at all would look at a 10 year contract with such ramifications over such a short period of time. Take your time LNI, if this company truly wan’ts to build here, they will wait. If they don’t it would simply be more proof of their unstability.

Everyone is banging up on Bookmeyer… Don’t you people realize that wessel of a man Willert is just as much to blame. This guy is a sound bite fantic that consistently says,,, um well um um um um um um …. until he remembers some Cliches that he thinks his going to sell an idea.

Here is an idea Willert. Lead with Love. Love your community (North Iowa) spend you $$ in the community and dont put the old and young and everyone else at risk for potential hazdards for some 50 jobs…

Nice try Kids but with a smoke and mirrors campaign sooner or later you run of of glass!

Cudos to nil. Finally someone with some sense and some balls. 50 more jobs? For how long? Look at the biodiesel plant. Changed hands twice? And still no production. The new plant would be a drag on our cities poor economy and you people know it.

Marquardt should keep his nose out of this its none of his business. The jobs alone are worth it!

That’s right! Let’s wait for the Globe to write a true and accurate account. If you Glob people don’t like what’s written here, don’t come here!

Wow, Bob. Wow. I can’t express how dismayed I am that someone would not want the public to have information about a project like this that is going to be subsidized by the taxpayers of Mason City. Wow. I don’t know what the heck else to say and I can usually say a whole heck of a lot…. Wow. Does Vladamir Putin know that you’ve left Russia?

Hey Bob, where is Neel? That is what youhu are doing. Neel and Bob on Booky.

Sorry Bobby, I will not be butting out, ever.


Health and safety? You sir, really have no clue what CES was all about, or you choose to bury your head in the sand when it was explained.

Well such tactics will not scare a person who has the ability to think beyond 8th grade level. One day, you will discover the sky is not falling.

Curious why Bill Rowland would say that there is a economic risk? The landfill would still receive 100 percent of their tipping fees. Also there would not be any financil liability to the smaller communities as the Mayor Dietz puts it. If there is what are they? I would like to know. Bill Rowland just so the public knows didn’t have any problem reducing the rate that the Behr facility pays to bring their trash to the landfill. That was pushed through at the last meeting becaue the Behr facility threatened to take their trash to Minnesota. What does it take to reduce the rates for the citizens of the other communities that bring their trash to your facility? Something doesn’t add up who else is getting kickbacks and reduced rates?

One of the risks lies in the financial assurance of the landfill. The landfill is financially responsible for the closure and post-closure of the closed garbage cells for 30 years. If for some reason a lawsuit stems from a poorly written agreement, and the landfill is broke…what happens then??? Where will your garbage go then? The landfill answers to the DNR as far as financial assurance goes. Bill is doing a great job looking out for the best interests of LNI! And FYI the Behr trash is going to be beneficially used for daily cover…something else you need to learn about Robert…

Way to go Bill! If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it is certainly NOT the Golden Goose!! Two weeks to decide on a ten year contract?? Give me a break…. Sorry, I think this goose is cooked..

NIT great reporting so people know about this. Ilive just outside the area and this site is only place to get real news. Radio is a collosal joke and your newspaper doesnt have the stories. Thanks for keeping me informed.

Nicely written article again, Matt. Somewhere there is a man in a bar fuming over this article. Drink another one Drunkmeyer.

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