New grain facility approved

The Custer County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a conditional use permit to CPI for a new grain storage facility south of Arnold. Dan Olson of Hastings, representing CPI, presented his request to the board at Tuesday mornings meeting. The co-ops in Arnold and Anselmo both recently merged with CPI, and Olson says the company is looking for ways to improve the facilities in this area. Olson said CPI’s main business is grain. He says they have had requests for such a facility near Arnold from producers in that area. The plan for this grain receiving facility is to also reach local feed yards and shuttle cars from the grain loading station near Anselmo. CPI has purchased 21 acres of land about 1 1/3 miles south of Arnold on Highway 40. The temporary grain storage facility will be ready to receive grain this fall, and Olson says they are looking at a receiving capacity of 15,000 - 30,000 bushels per hour. This first year the plan is to build a permanent truck scale, a temporary office/scale house and a covered bunker to store corn in. Next year CPI plans to start adding permanent grain storage. This will include a receiving leg and steel grain storage bins. They will also build a permanent scale house/office and add a well and septic tank.They plan to continue to farm ground that is not being used by the facility. The zoning board had previously voted to approve the permit. The approval of the county board was the final step for CPI to begin construction. The Custer County Ag Society presented their budget request for fiscal year 2012-2013. The request is for $93,150, three and a half percent above last year’s budget. Ag Society president Steve Horn noted that several buildings on the property are in need of repair, and though they are requesting a budget increase they are better off than they were a year ago. Horn also noted that the Custer County Fairgrounds is hosting more shows this year than they did last year. Supervisor Larry Hickenbottam reminded the board that the Ag Society used to be able to levy their own tax to cover expenses, but the state took that away and “dumped the financial responsibilities on the county.” The board plans to review the budget request, and did not make a decision at that time. Veterans Services Officer Linda Bomberger presented her annual Veterans Service Committee report and budget. She explained that Custer County currently receives funds from Loup and Blaine counties for services provided to veterans in those counties. In her budget, she proposed a salary increase for Marian Fedderson, with the money to come from those funds received from the other two counties. Bomberger reported that while the county is down 18 veterans from last year, to 988, pensions and benefits are up. Total benefits received by Custer County veterans are up nearly $800,000 this year from last year.