A caution from Mason City
To the editor:
It seems every community that starts to deal with Prestage believes that it does not affect other counties and communities and they have no right interfering with their decision. The truth is, like the Mason City Globe Gazette reported, the pork processing plant will bring hogs to Wright County from as far away as 250 miles. I believe that is outside of Wright County, so it does affect others like Fort Dodge, Mason City and Webster City to name a few.
If you look at the DNR map that shows the location of hog confinements you will notice that wherever there is a hog processing plant there are hog confinements surrounding it for miles and miles. You will also notice that north central Iowa is relatively free of hog confinements. That’s why Prestage is desperate to build close to it, because there are not enough hogs in Iowa to support their processing plant. To be frank with you, they want to pollute our part of the state like the hog industry has done to Wright County.
Our research revealed that Prestage is not going to spend a single dime of their own money to build this plant, it’s all borrowed money. If this plant is such a good business why won’t they spend their own money? Why should you or Iowa taxspayers spend money on a plant they won’t invest in?
If they go under or walk away the taxpayers are still on the hook for the $50 million to a $100 million needed to build water treatment and waste water treatment facilities and infrastructure to support them.
The annual incomes Prestage claims for their employees are based on a 52 hour work week. The benefits they claim for their workers don’t start until after a year of employment and with the high turnover rate in this industry not many will collect those benefits.
Where are the 1,800 employees going to live, where are their spouses going to work and where will their children go to school and who’s going to pay for their education? Eagle Grove?
The people of Mason City understood the impact this processing plant would have on surrounding communities and rural residents. Hog confinements, odor, flies, truck traffic, road damage and the destruction of the environment. So one of many reasons we turned down Pretage was to be good neighbors to the surrounding communities.
Editor’s note: Some of the claims in this letter differ from information included in Ron Prestage’s letter, which also appears on this page.