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Cerro Gordo supervisors and citizens indicate serious reservations for $240 million pork plant (audio)

This news story was published on March 29, 2016.
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Jay Urdahl and Phil Dougherty

Jay Urdahl and Phil Dougherty

MASON CITY – NIT has obtained a fascinating audio recording of Tuesday morning’s Cerro Gordo supervisor’s meeting, where a group of concerned citizens met with elected leaders and held a heated discussion about the drawbacks of an enormous pork processing plant destined for Mason City.

NIT was able to obtain an audio recording of the Board of Supervisors meeting for March 29, 2016. In this meeting, for well over an hour, supervisors Jay Urdahl and Phil Dougherty held an in-depth discussion with citizens who are opposed to the Prestage Foods pork processing plant. During the meeting, both supervisors made indications they were not 100% in favor of the development, which is just weeks away from final approval by the Mason City council.

“We need to rally the troops here,” it was said to supervisors during the meeting.

“I think the Globe Gazette has given the marching orders to its reporters … anyone who has a difference of opinion is not going to be let into the discussion,” Jay Urdahl said. “I’ve never seen the tub-thumping on a project like this before.”

“We can be the heroes,” one man said.  “You guys can be the heroes,” he said to the two supervisors.

Jay Urdahl gave the men advice on how to lobby the city council to move against the project (listen to the audio). It would take at least 3 city council members to slow or halt the project (this would be a tie vote, 3-3) or four council members to actually stop the project with a 4-2 vote on the issue, which has two more readings before final approval in April.

“All the small towns are going to be affected,” Mr. Urdahl said. “You can run, but you can’t hide.”

A county official said the county has no control over the number of hog confinement facilities that may spring up in the county. It was said confinements can go up within 1875 feet from anyone’s front door.

After the supervisors meeting, the concerned citizens then drove to Clear Lake and met with Mayor Nelson Crab and City Administrator Scott Flory, who provided the following statement:

“Mayor Crabb and I met this afternoon with a small group of concerned area residents about the proposed slaughter facility. They expressed a great deal of enthusiasm and support for everything that has gone on in Clear Lake for the last +15 years. They indicated that it appeared as the Board of Sups was not in majority favor of the proposed facility and asked for our opinion. The Mayor and I are certainly understood their concerns and don’t disagree that this is a project that has many broader issues associated with it on top of jobs and tax base. However, we indicated that it was doubtful that the City Council of CL would be interested as a political body in engaging in a political discussion about what was in the best interest of the residents of MC or any other community. Those kinds of political conversations are best held between constituents and their elected officials. It should be noted that neither Nelson or I through our participation in the north Iowa corridor EDC were involved in any conversations regarding this proposed facility and only were made aware of it just prior to the public announcement. I do expect some interested area residents will appear at the next city Council meeting in CL and speak in opposition of the MC project.”

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59 Responses to Cerro Gordo supervisors and citizens indicate serious reservations for $240 million pork plant (audio)

  1. explain it to me!!!! Reply Report comment

    April 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Really??? we said no to a casino that had jobs bc of the over all typical things that come w a casino which to me people still gamble just taking money out of our town. Now u want to build a hog plant for jobs but what about the negative facts I would have taken the casino over this. Who r they paying under the table for this approval?U want my opinion why don’t we oppose the liquor stores that keep popping up that don’t hire anyone from our town. Why r some people allowed to just open a business wo thought and some have to be approved?

  2. mint Reply Report comment

    March 31, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Is the land on a “Ley Line”, Rev 3:9.

  3. Annonymous Reply Report comment

    March 31, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I would have to say no one sends Weaver any where. He cares all on his very own. He knows when things STINK around here. Always has Always will.
    You better think twice people who you put in next time. Look at all the lies you’ve heard from Bookmeyer and council. If you have any brain at all you know it too. Get out of denial and worshiping our corrupt leaders. You will get money and fame another way if you are legit. Watch Erin Brockovich again. Same thing. Who did you root for? That’s what I thought. Think people think.

  4. Annonymous Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Just more ridiculous bs for MC. Cripes people do you GET IT yet? Bookmeyer and council are freaks. Look at Bookmeyers time in office….Really? WTH ! Nothin but Nothin. Then a glimmer….and they all suck. That’s how much he cares. When is he outta here anyway? We need a true caring leader!!!

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    This needs to be communicated to the city leaders at the next council meeting! If this goes through it will wreck the whole area.!no matter what companies try to do to mask the odors of pigs, it still smells bad. Please reexamine this entire issue! This is being rushed through in hopes the citizens will not have a choice in the matter!

  6. Laker Forever Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    @ Donald T. Rump, do you know if Urdahl sent Weaver over to Clear Lake to lobby Nelson Crabb, and meet with Dr. Blodgett? That would be just the type of methodology Jay would employ. Urdahl would not have the nerve to risk offending his Republitard Sugar Daddy, just in case old Doc actually favors the proposed hog operation. What is going on with him? For this greedy, pot can-snatching, awful excuse of a public servant to encourage a loosely organized gang of local low lifes in their efforts to promote such a tendentious plan of attack on Bookmeyer is ridiculous. For all his years in office, Jay has tried to cozy up to the monied crowd. Thanks to Gary Blodgett, he really made some headway on this. But now he seems to not care if he pitches it all away. Has Urdahl started smoking crack with doc Blodgett’s junkie problem child? What was he thinking? Anyone?

    • Roxy P. Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      @ laker, Todd use to do drugs, he don’t do none now, he is clean. Yes I do know him. Who the hell are you, make fun of any body deticate’s them self to getting clean. You make me sick, you are scum do you know. I use to smoke meth, clean now for almost 6 month’s. Stop this mean shit you are blogging you hear.

      • Retired NIACC Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2016 at 8:40 pm

        I commend you, Roxy, for being the most articulate defender of Toddy boy that has ever posted on this website. Your remarkable mastery of proper usage, grammar, and punctuation is indeed marvelous, especially for a friend of Mr. Blodgett’s. Are you and Toddy boy in the same gun club, or did you two meet at Prairie Ridge? Lastly, if you are carrying his baby, I must implore you to please do the right thing, and do not burden our society with it.

        • Oh my God Reply Report comment

          March 30, 2016 at 9:01 pm

          Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha … OMG … LMAO ROTF …!!!!!!!!! Good one, Nick nack!!!!!!!!

  7. Tom Willett Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    That’s April 5th & 19th!! Be there, be prepared!!

  8. Tom Willett Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm


  9. Christopher Jacobs Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I used to live in Mason City which is why I am commenting. I left Iowa to move to Greeley, Colorado. Iowans who are unfamiliar with Greeley but are in favor of this plant should do some research. The plant opened in Greeley brought TONS of immigrants (Originally illegal Mexicans. Currently Somali refugees). This placed a huge burden on the native population. Crime rates soared, females were no longer safe at night. Gangs. Rapes. Murders. This is not rhetoric; this is supported by undeniable fact.

    This isn’t meant to be a racist post. I just want to warn my old friends from Iowa about the extreme burden a plant like this places. Yes, it will generate hundreds of new jobs. But it will NOT be the natives taking these jobs.

    Greeley smells terrible every single day, no matter what. It is often referred to by outsiders with a wince. The price of housing is extremely low…..a small positive effect of everyone not wanting to live here.

    The plant ruined Greeley. If you want a second opinion, Google the city. You only need to look at the past if you want to see what the future holds with this decision.

    • Peter OFFICIAL Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      You are RACIST for saying such things. New Americans shouldn’t have to pass your piss test – go back to your Klan meeting.

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      March 31, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Interesting. On the town’s newspaper’s website, the headline says “Greeley’s proposed downtown hotel will be…”

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 31, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Very strange. I did Google Greeley, Colo. and found it was 80% white with a mix of other races making up the other 20%. It has a medium income of 44K p/year (not bad at all). The crime rate is below the national average for a city of that size. Overall, not a bad city for Colorado. I would say someone had a ax to burn.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 31, 2016 at 10:14 am

        You didn’t research well. Comments on odor and crime there are easy to find on the internet. Check for one source. Tactics to shut people up by calling them names and questioning their integrity gets really old. I remember this guy’s family-please don’t try to smear decent people. Looks like he was just trying to help inform us.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

        I didn’t say anything about his intent. I merely reported what was on Google and made a personal observation. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen you damn whiner.

    • Christopher Jacobs Reply Report comment

      March 31, 2016 at 10:24 am

      I appreciate the differing opinions and welcome any chances to find value in the city I used to call my home (I’ve moved to Fort Collins). I remember when I was still Iowan, I would occasionally get anxiety at night, and go for a quick walk to clear my head. I’d hear crickets, maybe, a passing car, wind through the trees. It’s the same in my new home of Fort Collins.

      That same midnight walk in Greeley would be terrifying as I heard domestic disputes, police sirens, gunshots, and once, even saw a half-dressed toddler crossing the street alone.

      Greeley is a college town. There are many businesses that open here because they are attracted to the low property rates. It is natural for new businesses to open here, and some even succeed, despite the environment. The community is toxic, and that is what I am speaking to with my post.

      @Peter That is ad hominem.

      @Matt See above

      and for the other poster, a counter-Google:

      While I love a good argument, my post should serve as a word of warning for those who would hear it. Fingers crossed for the protesters. Mason City, I’ll be watching from over here.

  10. mint Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    There were no detailed facts about, radius it will affect, land, water, air, were is the waste being dumped, will any waste end up in the creeks, rivers, there was no one representing the facts i.e. pros and cons about the hog plant, also a Holistic Healer should be there presenting the scientific facts on what pork does to your health, and an air specialist on what affects on a persons health the bacteria in the air will cause, a soil and water specialist on the affects of a persons health, and a petition that people can sign that do not want that hog plant being built, there was no one there that had done the homework/facts on the subject, this is why they pass what ever they want, the smell and health devastation, ruined soil, water, and air will still be there well after the $ has been spent, also have they done their homework on GMOS.

  11. Mason City J. D. Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    @ Donald T. Rump: Agreed, Doc Blodgett has Urdahl under his Republitard thumb. Agreed, Jay falls in line with what Gary tells him. But what makes you think Dr. Blodgett is against this hog plant? Gov. Braindead is tight with the Blodgetts, and he is in favor of this thing. And Bookmeyer is friends with the Blodgetts, Kuhn, as well. Please explain.

    • 9th and North Adams Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Because the Blodget’s don’t give a rat’s about working people that is why.

      • Wayne Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        9th I will tell you what I know. Our neighbor lady, she was up to the hair dresser’s yesterday this is in Clear Lake. She was in a chair a couple chairs down from Dr. Blodgett, he was getting a hair cut. Well in comes Max Weaver, he was in town to see mayor Crabb and Scot Florey he is our city manager. About this hog deal. Max goes up to old Doc, he lobby’s him to get involve. He says Gary, Gary, you have give all this money for Jays campaign’s, you raise him even more, you are in with Terry Braindead, you got to help me and Jay stop this here. I do not know what went down, the hair dresser lady, she finally says to Max I think Dr. Blodgett get’s your point Max. Then Weaver left out, he must of tracked old doc down to lobby him. Ok over and out.

      • Snapper Jim Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        you dont know the Blodgett’s, we have known them for 45 years. Yes they are rich, but they are good honest people, who I have rode with, ate with, and hung out with, Mr. Blodgett has done a lot for the people of Mason City. Not only the middle class but for the poor folks to. And I consider it a honor to know Gary and Sandy and their family.

        • Denise Reply Report comment

          March 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

          Liar. If your not rich the Blodgett’s are not your friends fool.

          • LVS

            March 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm

            You are the LIAR and full of crap too.

    • Donald T. Rump Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Jay wandered into some deep hog manure on this “off the record”, recorded conversation. Its going to come back to haunt him. If Terry wants it to happen and he does, its a done deal. Count Doc in on the deal making. Jay just didnt have the kahunas to stand up to Mad Max and the other power brokers who are feeling left out and pissed off at Bookmeyer. I too am wondering if this was an open meeting that was closed.

  12. Peter L Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Meat Is Murder

    • Peter Liplicker Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      In this case. meat could mean jobs and work for people. Neither of which you would know anything about.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      So much for you leaving. We all knew it wouldn’t last.

  13. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I didn’t see this meeting posted on the Board Agenda when I was at the Court House Monday morning. Was this open to the public?

  14. David G Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This is why MC has lost population base. Yet another terrible decision for the city. Many have moved. More departures are coming. The city and county boards and authorities have shown their ugly heads…we are becoming one of the least desirable places in Iowa to live.. Ft Dodge…Sioux City…Mason City…

  15. David G Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 9:49 am

    …this town is just flat out corrupt..

  16. David G Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 9:46 am

    This is a bad idea with 52 hour work weeks.. MC and CL water will be effected. This is yet another example of MC mayor/council and Glob not allowing the citizens to vote on a matter that effects everyones lifestyle. Businesses need to start pulling advertising from the Glob and citizens need to avoid any business that advertises in it.

  17. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 8:50 am

    He does have a point about it moving too fast that means that there is some thing to hide. I don’t want to wake up smelling pig shit every day. Do you?

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

      The smell won’t kill you and it might mask the other smells we have in town. What might kill you is the hog farms polluting the water supply. That is something to worry about.

  18. LVS Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I agree with Max on his feelings about the GLOB. They will do whatever the Chamber and our Mayor want. Now, that being said I don’t think they will stop this. It has already been approved by the state and the city. I seriously doubt the council will go against the mayor. I think this is a done deal. You can bitch all you want but it won’t stop it.

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 9:43 am

      City has 2 more readings… it’s 1/3 of the way approved, but it will be approved by end of April unless something comes up. State approved the tax incentive Tuesday. It’s basically up to the city council.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        @Matt-that is my point exactly. The only one on the council who might go against it is Schickal. The rest have already said they are in the mayors pocket. It is a done deal. They can bitch but it won’t change anything.

        • Anonymous #3 Reply Report comment

          March 30, 2016 at 3:41 pm

          LVS-Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t you on the Mayor’s side on this one? I thought I read in one of your post that you in favor of this deal and you think it will be a good thing for the city.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        2 more readings for what? How can people go about getting involved a the consel meeting?

  19. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 8:08 am

    The only reason that Urdahl is against it, is because it was not his idea. Just another sniveling whiner….

    • Donald T. Rump Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Jay will shut his pie hole once Doc muzzles him up. Just watch how quick he falls in line.

      • Lehigh Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        @ Rump, I think your right. Old Doc, he pulls Jay’s strings like he is puppet. To bad the Blodgett’s ever put Urdahl in, he would not of been in there if Toddy boy and his pompus daddy would of stayed out of our election’s.

    • Reality Check Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Just Curious……. did this comply informal gathering with the open meetings law? I would have attended but didn’t know anything about it.

  20. Been there done that! Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I’m listing my house and selling out to move to an area that I know won’t put up a hog house that will stink me out.

  21. mint Reply Report comment

    March 30, 2016 at 2:22 am

    It should not be built, it is harmful to the environment and eating pork is bad for health, you can’t serve two masters.

  22. Annonymous Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    YES! Max forever!

  23. Jerry Clauson Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    If this is true what I’m listening to Mayor Bookmeyer is out of control.

  24. Chrissy Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    WOW is our WATCHDOG back? I love it! Max Weaver is AWESOME!!

  25. Peter OFFICIAL Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    too long; didn’t listen

    translation: We want our cut of some money.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Guess you should’ve took the time to listen, your translation is way off base!

  26. Annonymous Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Who’s all talking here? WHO are these ACTIVISTS? Can we get some names? I want to vote for them. These are the leaders we WANT and NEED!

    • Anonymous... Reply Report comment

      March 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      I recognized Max Weaver and I believe Tom Willet’s voice but am not sure who the expert farmer named Chris is. They all made great points on why this is not good for Mason City and Cerro Gordo.
      All you have to do is go visit or talk to anyone who grew up in Storm Lake to see what the future of Mason City will be if this thing goes through.

  27. Shocked Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Whoa this is GREAT stuff! We are hearing the truth finally.I am totally against this now!

  28. MC City Hall Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    You are right. This is a great eye opener for the citizens of MC, Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo county and All of North Iowa with what he is doing to all of us. He is still pissed off at losing the trash to energy plant 4 years ago. Only the people in City Hall know about the real Eric Bookmeyer.

  29. Page 32 Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    “Muh sailboats”

    This expression indicates a Laker’s confusion and lack of understanding. When confronted with something he can not understand or respond to, Lakers mumble, “Muh sailboats” or Muh sailboats muthafugger.” This is usually followed by pointing at the Surf Ballroom and tacky overbuilt lakeshore houses.

  30. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Very good eye opener!!!