Dodge County Board hears public comment on Costco plant

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 18:30:40-04

The debate continues over whether to allow Costco to build a chicken processing plant on the south side of Fremont near old Highway 275.

The Dodge County Board held a public hearing on the plan earlier today and were also looking at a proposal by the City of Fremont to annex the 83 acre lot the plant would be built on.

The public took the podium and both sides gave their opinion on the proposed chicken plant.

“I think what really gets me exited is the rare synergy between rural and group, and we are a unique area,” said one local farmer in support of the Costco plant.

“This is a situation where it is going to impact our whole culture and it is irreversible, it will not go back to the way it was if it doesn't work out,” said Dawn Wiegert who opposes the plan.

Several farmers did express their support saying it would be a consistent income for them.

“This will be good for operators, this will be good for farmers and I have spoken to extremely few, I would say less than 0.1% of farmers that are against this project,” said farmer Scott Wagner.

There was concern over the lack of information that has been provided to the public.

“One other thing I talk to a lot of people about is the secrecy involved in this too, from the get go,” said Wiegert.

But 5th generation farmer Wagner said the contract highlights he has seen is enough to make him excited.

“I have seen enough to know it's a good situation.”

With the hundreds of new jobs the plant will offer, others are worried about the trickle affect the added population will have.

“The schools are going to get hurt because of this because they will be overrun by new students that they cannot find room for,” said another Fremont resident opposed to plan.

After public comment the board unanimously approved the proposal to annex the 83 acres.

The planning commission will have public meeting on June 20th at 5pm and City Council will have a meeting the 21st at 7pm at the Christensen Field Multi-Purpose building.