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Many unsatisfied as Cargill meets with neighbors on Cedar Rapids proposal

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – Agriculture corporation Cargill met with concerned residents in the Rompot neighborhood of Southeast Cedar Rapids Wednesday afternoon over its new location for a proposed railyard in Cedar Rapids.

“I felt pretty insulted in the meeting,” Jeremiah Kenny of Cedar Rapids said. “They didn’t have anybody to answer questions. I felt like there was no communication.”

After failing to get city council’s support for the project at a different site off of Otis Road, Cargill submitted a rezoning request for a city-owned parcel off of Stewart Road on Sept. 16. Cargill previously won a bidding process for the land but terms of the sale are still being negotiated.

Neighbors like Kenny were frustrated Wednesday when Cargill representatives asked them to fill out comment cards instead of answer their questions in person.

“We expected to have a Q and A and what happened? They gave us flyers,” Aleasha LeClere said.

While many residents spoke vehemently against having a rail yard at either site, a few feel it’s time to move aside; citing the jobs and opportunities Cargill brings to the area.

“I work for a trucking company that works with Cargill and they have certain criteria that has to be met,” Gary McClure said. “It’s going to benefit me and it should benefit the environment in our area.”

Rezoning the Stewart Road property should be discussed at the next City Planning Commission meeting on November 7.

 

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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