Monday, July 30, 2012

Gabbert Defends Health Ordinance, Cites County Accomplishments

Dennis Gabbert defended the health ordinance passed by the county and listed the various accomplishments of the commission since he got elected in an interview with the Sheridan Express. Gabbert said that the health ordinance struck a fair balance between the CAFO producer as well as the needs of the property owners who live next to the CAFO. He said that normally he believed in free enterprise, but that there had to be consideration for other people’s needs. “Before we passed this ordinance, we talked to some landowners who lived next to the facilities we already have and they said having a CAFO next to them dropped their property values,” said Gabbert. Gabbert said that this issue could affect every citizen in the county; for instance, a CAFO located half a mile outside of one of the towns could create odor problems for the people living inside the towns. Grant City occasionally gets odor from the Continental Grain facility located on the Worth/Gentry County border several miles away. In addition, Gabbert said that CAFO’s were not a taxing asset to the county when you factor in such things as truck traffic, which tears up county roads. He said that they were not a great employment tool because they frequently only took one or two people to operate. Among accomplishments cited by Gabbert for the county since he was elected included construction of several non-load limit bridges in the county, the Worth BRO Bridge, the Paxson Bridge north of Sheridan, completion of the elevator project which made the Courthouse ADA compliant, uniform techniques for grading county roads, and being able to be more productive with the road and bridge crew despite fewer employees. Gabbert cited his ability to work with the other commissioners at the Worth County Candidates Forum. “Me and Rob Ruckman come from two different backgrounds, yet we are able to form a good working relationship as commissioners,” he said. Gabbert also serves on the Solid Waste District, as well as the Transportation Advisory Committee, where he is an advocate for better roads for the county. Dennis is married to Cathy, a retired teacher from Northeast Nodaway. They have two children, Justin and Holly. Gabbert said that if reelected, he would like to see more brush enforcement, work towards having all of the county bridges without load limits, eliminating all wood deck bridges, which he said were becoming too expensive to maintain, and the restoration of the courtroom.

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