It was a passionate Scottsbluff City Council meeting on Monday night, as the owners and supporters of Meadowlark Hearth speak out against a concrete plant being built near their rural Scottsbluff organic farming operations.
A second reading was held for an ordinance that would sell 365 acres of land approximately 3 miles east of Scottsbluff to Croell, Inc. for just over $548,000.
More than a dozen opponents of the sale packed the council chambers in support of leaving the land surrounding Meadowlark Hearth as-is.
Co-Owner Beth Corymb Everett says their farm is a special place.
“I’m not opposed to it in general for the area. And nobody wants to have it next door to them. So I’m not trying to be selfish, but I really want to see this land area be something that can bring healing.
Croell Inc. employees maintain they can be good neighbors, and have to stick to strict EPA regulations- just as the farm has to stick to strict regulations to be certified organic.
Morrill County organic farmer Billy Estes told the council the environmental impact from the proposed redimix and asphalt plant could effect Meadowlark Hearth’s certification as an organic farm.
City Economic Development Director Starr Lehl said that Croell has indicated they are willing to take a number of steps to ensure that a buffer zone exists between the plant and the neighboring farms.
The ordinance will have one more reading before the council takes action.