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Letters Published in June 24, 2009 Issue
June 24, 2009 - Letter submitted by Phyllis Hedrick, Shirley Utilities Clerk
The Town of Shirley recently mailed its annual drinking water quality report to every utility customer in Shirley as required by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The purpose of the report is to inform utility customers of the quality of their water by detailing the results of various tests that are conducted to meet our goal of providing a safe and dependable supply of drinking water.
We are proud to report that our system had no violations and meets or exceeds all federal and state requirements. The results were compiled during the monitoring period of Jan. 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008.
If any Shirley water utility customer has not received the report by this time, or if you have any questions concerning the report, please contact Phyllis Hedrick at 765-738-6561, or stop by Shirley Town Hall at 409 Main Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
June 24, 2009 - Letter submitted by Jim Hope, Knightstown
What we have to realize is that the next few years are going to be some of the worst and most trying times we have ever seen in our lifetimes.
We have got to stop the school board and schools from spending this $1.8 million they have borrowed, by renewing the school bonds at a lower percentage rate.
They have renewed $1.2 million and borrowed more money to come up with this new amount of money. This means taxpayers will have to pay two more years on the loan they had.
The superintendent at that time led the town to believe that this town and school district were going to grow and needed a new high school. The town is not growing and the school is only using two-thirds of what room they have in the new school.
By spending taxpayers’ money and not know what the next few years hold for us, they could put a big burden on our school system and taxpayers.
Jobs are disappearing. Factories are closing. There are so few jobs in this town now, some people will have to leave to find new ones.
Must we continue letting the board and school system do what they think is best for us?
You know what kind of cover-ups some of them did in the past. If it weren’t for The Banner, we would never have learned the truth. Must we continue letting them make mistakes that we’ll have to pay for in the future?
I feel we, as a community, have to stand up for what we believe in, or lose everything we have fought and worked so hard to get. If you sit back and do nothing, you’ll see what happens.
Others who think they know what is better for you can cause you to lose everything you have, and then you can only blame yourself. You have rights. Stand up for them, or lose them.
Please attend the next CAB school board meeting on Tuesday, July 7.
June 24, 2009 - Letter submitted by Don Villwock, President, Indiana Farm Bureau
On June 18 a Purdue University team of extension specialists presented its preliminary findings on the impacts of livestock farms on local communities. They discovered what most of us in agriculture already know: regulated farming operations are environmentally responsible, and like any other business, the taxes they pay support county budgets and lower property taxes for local homeowners.
The Purdue study’s snapshot of 50 swine and dairy farms in eight Indiana counties includes four sections: owner/operator characteristics, a review of environmental incidents, tax and budget implications for local governments and suggestions for local planners when working with new or existing sheltered animal farms.
According to the study, the farmers interviewed are a young and well-educated group compared to the general farming population. Most reported they had no problems with neighbors or local planners when establishing their livestock farms. In fact, 80 percent of those surveyed rated community response as mostly or all positive.
Data also indicated that sheltered livestock care facilities purchase most of their feed and supplies both locally and within Indiana, and hire more local labor than a typical farm. Wages on larger livestock farms average $12.38 per hour, compared to an average farm wage of $8.50 an hour.
The Purdue study also found that environmental violations by sheltered livestock operations were uncommon. From 1995 to 2008, only 15 of the 325 environmental violations cited in the eight county study area were attributed to large livestock operations. The rest were issued to a variety of sources including cities, businesses, churches and parks.
The impact of larger sheltered livestock farms on local government budgets and taxes was mixed according to the Purdue study. Analysis showed that many operations generate enough added tax revenue to cover any costs they create. But in all cases, part of the tax burden born by livestock farms provides property tax relief for existing homeowners.
Any Indiana livestock farmer who has been in business for any length of time can tell you sad stories of how things used to be. Unsheltered animals were subject to extremes of summer heat and winter cold; mortality rates were high because animals couldn’t be closely monitored and treated; fighting for territory, to the point of injury or death, was common; newborns and younger animals routinely suffered attacks by foxes, coyotes or their mothers.
Research, applied animal science and new technologies now provide a safe, secure and sheltered environment for Indiana livestock. The men and women who manage these modern farms care for their animals every hour of every day to ensure we have safe and affordable meat, eggs and milk. Indiana Farm Bureau thanks them for their hard work and dedication. All Hoosiers should do the same.
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