Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Infrastructure & Zoning Committee

Infrastructure & Zoning Committee
February 26, 2013  -  1:00 PM
Conference Call

Members Present
Members Absent
Ty Eschenbaum, SDDA
Dusty Anderson
Todd Kays
Steve Rommereim
Paul Brandt
Bob Wilcox
Bob Thaler
David Skaggs, SDDA
Karl Jensen
Katie Konda, SDDA
Erin Cortus
Lester Mueller

Mike Traxinger

Cory Eich

Stephen Pohl

The meeting began with introductions by the six members that made the call.  Following that, the group reviewed the notes from the last meeting.  Being 2 months out from the first meeting, good discussion and perspective followed regarding the POSTIVES/CHALLENGES and IDEAS previously listed.

One topic that was brought up was the Governor’s Livestock Development Initiative that is a hot topic right now with SD Dept of Ag and SD State University Teaming up to give over 30 presentations across the State on the idea of the “Next Generation of Livestock Production.”   As in pertains to this specific committee, we hope that more people are in engaged with the idea that Livestock Development = Economic Development, but with any type of development: there are zoning processes and infrastructure issues that need to be addressed.

Questions were asked regarding further explanations on some of the IDEAS and OBJECTIVES, but as a group we agreed that we had accomplished vetting our thoughts on both in the previous meeting fairly well.

Our next step was to further our plans on our three main objectives:

1)     Define & Determine what infrastructure is essential for agricultural development
2)     Establish funding mechanism to support necessary infrastructure
3)     Education and Resources
a.      Develop a standard list of available resources  and contact information for involved agencies  and organizations
b.     Develop training module for interested counties
                                                    i.     Customizable templates for decision making/flow charts
                                                   ii.     How to run a formal meeting
                                                  iii.     Updating comprehensive plans to include agricultural friendly  policies

1)      Objective #1       We spent the majority of our time discussing this initiative.  Our thought is to use the resources that we all have available to use collectively to form some baselines figures so the stakeholders within the state:  zoning committees, county commissioners, policy makers, township boards, etc. have at least a basic starting place when discussing the impact of a new livestock or ag development project. 

This objective would speak to the local roads issue we are hearing about from local townships when a new ag project is proposed.  We see this idea progressing in four steps:

1.      Impact of New Development
a.      i.e.:  5000 sow barn development = X average truckloads @ Y average lbs per load @   Z  times per week @ BLANK Intervals throughout the year (constant, seasonal, etc.)
b.      This basic formula will be also be established for beef and dairy operations, as well as for row crop operations for comparison
c.      Bob & Paul volunteered to develop livestock project numbers.
Ty will run the grain numbers.
2.      Minimum Road Standard
a.      Ty will reach out to SD DOT to gather their insight on any road standards, studies,  ↑ traffic = ↑maintenance formulas, etc.
3.      Maintenance Schedule
a.      If you can gather any information from the first two steps, that will give us an idea of the increased maintenance associated with increased traffic, tonnage, etc.
4.      Cost
a.      This is what we are really looking for through this process.  We fully realize that there are infinite variables: weather, current condition of road, surface type, traffic vs. time of year, etc.  However, our thought is that if we can develop a baseline formula to at least give the stakeholders a starting point, the figures can be adjusted up or down for a specific project.

2)      Objective #2       This objective was briefly discussed, mainly with the idea that there are folks working on this issue and showing support and offering information to these individuals & groups would be the best utilization of our time.
1.      The following bills provided by our Ag Policy Analyst, Katie Konda, are still alive in the Legislature and pertain to infrastructure & zoning.  We discussed the basis of these bills briefly,  please read through if you like.  The SD Dept of Ag will continue to watch these and report on their outcome at the next meeting.

allow regional intergovernmental cooperation for sewer utilities and to provide for the establishment of rates and charges.
permit townships to levy a capital improvement property tax for highways, secondary roads, bridges, and culverts
establish a local government road improvement grant fund for the purpose of serving new agricultural facilities and to make an appropriation therefor.
authorize township boards to increase the front foot assessment for road maintenance, repairs, and improvements and to revise certain provisions concerning road districts established by townships.

3)      Objective #3       We believe that through this objective, we can have the greatest positive impact on the local zoning process.
1.      Todd Kayes & SDDA staff plan to meet in the next couple of weeks to further discuss the idea of using Todd’s planning district as the pilot district to pull Dept. of Ag, SDSU, SD Planner’s Assoc.,  and all other resources together to put on a 2-3 hour training session for the county/zoning boards within Todd’s District.
2.      If successful, we believe this could be duplicated to other planning districts fairly easily.

As we wrapped up the meeting, we discussed the first week in May as a potential time to hold our next meeting.  Ty will send out the same poll as before to make sure the time selected works for the most members as possible.

Meeting Adjourned.

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