The Kearney County Board of Supervisors approved a special use permit for Fort Kearny Consolidated at their meeting on Tuesday, March 20.
Dean Settje and Brian Kissinger presented their plans to the board, including the location of a new holding pond at the northeast corner of the property, as well as additional pen space to raise the lot’s capacity from 35,000 to 48,000.
Settje Agri-Services and Engineering specializes in livestock facilities and environmental protection. Due to changes in regulations, feeding can no longer be done in outside pens that are not part of the permitted system.
The project will include constructing a new pond to the northeast, draining the current one and placing additional pens in that space.
Settje said the current facility is 30-35 years old and in need of updating.
The current system employs gravity to drain to the pond, but the new pond will be placed above grade, and will include four lift stations to pump water into the new pond.
The new pond will also have far less surface space than the old one, helping to counteract the odor from the expanded capacity, but will sit 22-24 feet deep, much deeper than the current pond.
The pond floor is required to stay four feet above the highest known water level, and Settje assured the board it was designed to sit eight feet above.
After the county had approved, the project would also require approval from the DEQ.
Once the project was completed, it would be verified again with the state to ensure regulations had been met and then a new permit would be issued by the state.
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