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Central Commodities granted relocation of Anhydrous Storage
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Board met on the second floor of the Courthouse in Taylorville at 6:30 p.m. for their September regular meeting. The resignations of two Board members were accepted and there was discussions on the FS Central Commodities Zoning Ordinance.
There were two members absent, Miranda Langen and Mike Specha, as well as the two members who have resigned.
Board member Jeff Nolen, District One and Seth Foster, District 3. The two Christian County Board positions are currently in the appointment process and will be likely be filled by next month’s meeting. No reasons for the resignations were provided. County Board Chairman Bryan Sharp said the Foster resignation came first the week of Sept. 4 and the Nolan resignation, the week of Sept. 11.
Those appointed will fill out unexpired terms with voters being given the opportunity to elect new members in the November, 2024 election.
The meat and potatoes of the meeting was FS Central Commodities Anhydrous Ammonia storage facility which, if approved, will be relocated south of the Village of Kincaid.
Multiple public comments opposing and in defense of the facility were aired during the public comments portion of the meeting. Many of the comments opposing the site mentioned the toxicity of anhydrous ammonia and the safety concerns it brings to the community and the environment.
One of the comments was from Kincaid resident Nate Patterson, who had attended the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings where they held initial discussion of the topic, told Board members, “Ultimately, I think it’s the same proposal that you all voted to deny not very long ago.I am really glad that Central Commodities has a desire to move it. While, I think, it is better for the community, really, ultimately it’s a financial thing. So I think it would be a shame to waste this opportunity to move this to a good position, a good space, while there is a desire for Central Commodities to move it by allowing them to put it next to this natural resource.”
Those in favor of the FS Central Commodities storage facility defended the relocation by discussing the reasons for movement as well as providing reassurance to the public regarding safety concerns and measures. Mark Bauman, general manager at FS Central Commodities, spoke in attempt to better help those understand the move.
“Our board, like me, never imagined, last December, there would be opposition to moving this facility away from the middle of town,” he said. “I commend our board to the substantial financial commitment to accomplish the goal of helping the citizens of Kincaid remove a potential safety hazard from their midst. The proposed site exceeds all county and state setbacks even as adequate distance from institutions, businesses and traffic to alleviate proximity concerns.”
The meeting then went into executive session at 7:20 to discuss the issue. When they returned, at 8:00 p.m., they dove right into the Zoning Ordinances and Resolutions portion of the agenda. Ordinance 2023 ZB 035, FS Central Commodities, was a reapplication for a special use permit for the Anhydrous Facility which was approved by the ZBA. A roll call vote showed 11 in favor and one “no,” from David Puccetti.
“Im comfortable to believe that the risk of the public is minimal,” Christian County Board Chairman Bryan Sharp said. “We’ve seen it in town, in Kincaid. I know if there were accidents on a regular basis you all would know about it. It gives them (FS Central Commodities) the potential to expand. Bottom line, agriculture is the biggest industry in Christian County and we can’t be remise in that. I think there is a lot of benefits in that. So they are doing a lot that churns this economy in Christian County but I don’t think that was necessarily what steered the board in that direction but they are a valuable member of the community.”
All three committee chairman, Thomas Snyder Jr., Clint Epley and Venise McWard, gave their committee reports and presented the motions made. Some of the items that passed were request to use the courthouse lawn for Chilifest, a temporary storage for the Christian County records at $120 a month and Sale of Delinquent Tax Properties.
From the Finance Committee, the motion to use the previously allotted ARPA funds for Courthouse HVAC at $588,000 and Window Replacement at $482,640 projects will be on the remaining balance from each to come out of the FY24 budget. There was no discussion and the Board voted unanimously to approve the projects.
The final motion was to approve the moving funds from the General Obligation Fund to Capital Improvements. The transfer of $650,000 was approved unanimously.
The motion for adjournment came at 8:38 p.m. and the meeting concluded.