Welcome to Murdock
Proposed Anhydrous Facility Between Murdock and Elmwood
As you may know, I have been lamenting the demise of my favorite barn and landmark between Elmwood and Murdock. As I stopped to take another photo of the dismantling two area residents stopped me.
I have now learned more. Midwest farmers Co-op is proposing and applied for a zoning change for a ten-acre site to contain four 30,000 gallon anhydrous ammonia tanks along with 60-70 portable anhydrous nurse tanks.
Many people have asked me to supply any information as community awareness is extremely low and most are unaware of the plans.
The facility will consolidate 3 current facilities and its related traffic into one large one.
If approved, farmers who previously got their anhydrous in Manly, Murdock, and/or Elmwood will now have to travel instead to the new facility 1.5 miles north of Elmwood. The public is encouraged to attend the March 5th meeting or can contact their commissioners to voice their opinion before the meeting. The coop is doing this because they need to update their current facilities
The proposed construction will commence if approved by the Cass county commissioner's hearing March 5th, 2019 8:00 am at the Cass County Courthouse.
Attendance is encouraged!
Regardless of your opinion, your input is encouraged. You can attend the public meeting or can contact your commissioners to voice their opinion before the meeting. The area residents understand Midwest Farmers Co-op needs to update their current facilities, however, are there better solutions that won't have such an impact on the community?
Barn History: According to a neighbor this historical barn was constructed by WWII German prisoners of war
The new facility will encompass 120,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia storage along with 60-70 nurse tanks stored on site at all times.
The "conditional use permit" was approved by the Cass County Zoning board 4 to 1, (see notes) but this decision CAN be overturned by the commissioners.
March 5th, 2019
Cass County Courthouse.
You can attend the public meeting or can contact your commissioners to voice their opinion before the meeting. The coop is doing this because they need to update their current facilities
Letter to the Planning Board compiled by the area residents
Dear Gentlemen of the Board:
As concerned citizens of Cass County in the rural Elmwood community, we are respectfully requesting your vote against the conditional use permit for an anhydrous ammonia storage and loading facility including four 30,000 gallon anhydrous ammonia tanks located on 10 acres of ground north of Elmwood on Tax Lot 19 located in the SE ¼ of Section 33, T11N, R10E of the 6th P.M. in Cass County, Nebraska. The proposed site would affect 13 houses in the immediate one-mile vicinity and several more residences and two known businesses just outside of that radius. We, as the rural Elmwood community, are united to our commitment to find a better location for this facility by making known our concerns for the current proposed location as listed below.
Zoning: The spirit and intent of the current zoning for this area is in direct contradiction with the proposed facility. Transitional Agriculture is, per Cass County zoning regulations, “an agricultural buffer between more intensive agricultural activities and the growth area municipalities.”
This facility would qualify as “more intensive agricultural activities” due to its nature and sheer capacity. It goes beyond protecting row crop farming thus not allowing for future town development in this zone. Furthermore, this facility would interfere with the adjoining zone designated as parks and recreation. Nowhere in the regulations for TA is this kind of site permitted. On the other hand, zone AG-1 allows specifically for this type of facility under a conditional use permit only. (5.04.C.17.b)
Public Safety: Anhydrous ammonia (NH3), according to the CDC, is stored as a liquid but rapidly expands into a gas when released from its container. It forms a large cloud that is heavier than air for a period of time, resulting in greater chances for human exposure than other gases. Anhydrous (without water) ammonia desperately seeks water, attacking the eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, and sweat glands of humans. Dangers of exposure to anhydrous ammonia include eye, nose, and throat irritation, blindness, breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pain, pulmonary edema, severe burns, blisters, frostbite, and death at elevated concentrations. Please consider that while anhydrous ammonia seeks the lowest spot to settle, the proposed location of the anhydrous ammonia facility lies at a high point in the local topography while three of the nearest houses lie in a valley only .2-.4 miles away.
Further, according to Director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, Dan Neenan, “if a leak has occurred, it will be swept along on the wind. Anyone in its path is at high risk for injury.” Consider the neighbors close to this massive storage facility as any leak has the potential to be swept their direction.
Midwest farmers coop has stated that it will be storing 60-70 nurse tanks at this facility. These tanks, according to MFC, are only required to be internally inspected. According to United States Department of Labor OSHA website, there was an accident at a smaller MFC facility in Tecumseh, NE on March 20, 2014, including one fatality and three other exposures. MFC was cited by OSHA for 12 safety violations on this incident and eight other violations a few years earlier. (see attachment 1)
As per a meeting with the CEO and Manager of MFC, the safety plan for an accident involves calling the fire department and Cass County Emergency Management.
After emergency unit arrival on scene, neighbors would potentially be notified. There are currently no known plans for direct notification of nearby residences or air monitoring systems that might alert unsuspecting neighbors of potential dangers. Please consider the health and well-being of the families that would live near this mega-facility.
Traffic: The added danger of combining hazmat traffic from three current anhydrous ammonia facilities into one mega-facility is difficult to ignore. Fletcher Avenue is a road already heavily traveled and difficult to maintain. Farmers Coop estimates that traffic load on this road would increase by over 75 large vehicles per day.
In addition, this facility relies on Highway One on a stretch between two schools where students are shuttled back and forth several times daily. This extreme increase in hazmat traffic would all occur while school is in session. An accident from allowing the concentration of dangerous traffic on our roads would be no less than devastating.
Further, we believe the concentration of traffic in an area ill-equipped to handle it goes against Cass County zoning regulation Section 1.05 objective of “lessening congestion in streets, roads, and highways”.
Decreased Quality of Life: The coop facility will be an intrusion of our aesthetic views, the cause of a decline in our property values, and will add significant light pollution to our community. Members of this community have worked hard to improve their property and build their businesses.
We currently enjoy letting our children play outside without worries from extra traffic or accidental release of deadly fumes. By voting for this conditional use permit, the quality of life we now enjoy and have worked hard for will be significantly diminished.
While not a single residence in the one-mile vicinity will benefit from the use of this dangerous chemical, all of us will suffer from the building of this facility and the dangers it poses to us and our families.
As members of a rural community, we understand we are subject to a degree to agricultural activities. However, we believe that when these activities so severely threaten and impact our right to safety and quality of life there has to be a stop to it.
Please reconsider the location of this mega-facility. Do not take lightly the negative impact this will have on the growing Elmwood-Murdock community.
Respectfully, Area residents
For those who wish to provide your input, concerns, and questions I strongly encourage you to contact the Cass County Zoning Commission
Cass County Zoning
Plattsmouth, NE 68048-1964
The Cass County Zoning Office hours are from 8 A.M. to Noon and from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. Monday thru Friday excluding holidays.
Murdock in Photos!
Thanks for Dwight Irwin for the amazing Ariel images he sent of Murdock this week. I will add photos each week as a new feature. Please feel free to share your LOVE of Murdock in Photos!
There is a wealth of information on the new Elmwood-Murdock website. It is updated on a daily basis by various teachers and department heads.
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7:00 pm each Wednesday
March 6, 2019
Lenten Wednesday Service
March 13, 20, 27
April 3, 10
Maundy Thursday - April 18th
Good Friday - April 19th
Sunrise Service 7:00 am
Easter Breakfast (between services)
Divine Service 10:30
Please feel free to join us every Sunday
9:15 Sunday School & Bible Class
10:30 am Divine Service
Listen to the weekly sermon anytime at Pastor Brent Kuhlman's Blog
Worship Time: 9:30 am Sunday
Children's Sunday School: 9:55-10:30
(dismissed from worship following the "Children's Chat")
Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum
The renovations to the original wood floors at the Bess Streeter Aldrich house are complete and gorgeous. My phone photos didn't turn out too good due to the bright sunshine and glare on the floor. So I'll go back this weekend and get some really good one of the floor. That means you just have to come back and read this next week.
But in addition, the theme for this month is Musical Instruments and sheet music.
I do love musical instruments and the sheet music display at the top of the staircase of military sheet music is fascinating.
There is always something new to see and learn.
A hint of a new feature to the museum. Bess Streeter Aldrich will return in reenactment style, very much like Maxine Cline did many years ago. I'll update you later on who and when you can experience this new guided tour. Let's just say the person is delving not only into the personal life of Ms. Aldrich but also the local history and the time period.
Become an Intern with 4-H in Cass County!
The Cass County 4-H program is seeking an energetic intern to assist with our youth summer 4-H programs. The intern will work alongside staff at Nebraska Extension in Cass County to implement high-quality science, agriculture, and healthy living programs to the youth of Cass County and surrounding areas. Successful candidates will be instrumental in assisting with Cass County Fair 4-H activities, and other projects as assigned. This paid summer internship will begin mid-May and conclude mid-August.
• High school diploma required, with 1-2 years of training or education in fields related to agriculture, science, or education recommended.
• Ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of all ages, with an emphasis on K-12 youth.
• Positive and team-focused attitude.
• Self-motivated and ability to work in a flexible environment
• Professionally represent the University of Nebraska Extension and Cass County
• Must pass a background check
• Some evening and weekend work required
Interested persons should send a cover letter and resume to:
Cass County Extension Office
Attn: Tracy Ensor, Extension Assistant
8400 144th St. Suite 100
Weeping Water, NE 68463
Deadline for submission is April 1st, 2019
Living Well Program
Beginning Tuesday, March 12, the Sarpy/Cass Health Department will be offering a free 6-week workshop in Plattsmouth for those living with chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.
Living Well is an evidenced-based program that teaches participants how to collaborate with your healthcare provider and navigate the healthcare system, develop skills and increase confidence for self-management, and aims to improve self-rated general health.
To register for this program, contact Arlene at 402-537-6971, or for more information, visit https://www.sarpycasshealthdepartment.org/chronic-disease-prevention
NEST 529 to Kickoff NEST on the Farm Fun Photo
$1,000 Drawing at Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference
WHAT:NEST 529 College Savings Plan will officially launch the NEST on the Farm Fun Photo $1,000 Drawing with a presentation during the Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference.
Tyson Larson, Deputy Treasurer will provide opening remarks, followed by an overview of the plan by Vince Sullivan, Director, NEST 529 Direct Plan, First National Bank of Omaha.
The contest, which runs from February 21 through June 30, 2019, will award six winners each a $1,000 contribution to a NEST 529 College Savings account.
To enter the NEST on the Farm Fun Photo Drawing, participants are encouraged to submit a farm-themed photo taken of or by a child 13 years old or younger along with a short caption.
For complete scholarship rules, visit NEST529.com/scholarships.
WHEN: Thursday, February 21 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Kearney Holiday Inn Ballroom
110 Second Ave.
Kearney, NE 68848
About NEST 529
NEST 529 is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and State Farm 529 Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including over 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha, First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.
Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* · No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee · May Lose Value *Except the Bank Savings Investment Option
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