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Farming dispute

County supervisors asked to intervene

T-R PHOTOS BY LANA BRADSTREAM
A tractor and farm equipment sits empty near the intersection of 267th Street and Brown Avenue southwest of State Center. Drainage tiles for farm land in the area is a source of contention for farmers as George Haywood has asked the county supervisors to allow him to place double-wall drainage tile across a neighboring farmer’s land.

A State Center area farmer has asked the Marshall County Board of Supervisors to intervene in allowing him to place 1,300 feet of 18-inch double-wall drainage tile across a neighboring farmer’s land.

George Haywood of Haywood Farms, Inc. 2697 Brown Ave., made the request in writing. It is allowed by Chapter 468 in the Iowa Code.

The neighboring farmers are Gerald and Carol Ann Burke.

Haywood said he wanted the supervisors’ permission to install the tile to eliminate water ponding on his land, which prevents farm work.

Farmers typically work out these agreements between themselves and do not involve the supervisors.

Some people who are knowledgeable of the situation did not want to be identified for this article and said Haywood’s request to the supervisors was necessary because he has allegedly offended several neighbors by filing a law suit, threatening to file or being involved in other court proceedings.

Court records show two cases in Marshall County District Court.

On Oct. 14, a judgement was entered in favor of Eden Ridge Farms, Inc. and against Haywood Farms, Inc. for $2,459.03

Eden Ridge Farms had filed in small claims court against Haywood for failing to pay for $2,460 of soil sampling services.

Documents from a second case filed in November 2012, show a case of Haywood Farms, Inc. vs. Daters Farm Inc. was dismissed with prejudice which means the case can not go to court again.

One of the farmers said neighbors were also offended when Haywood, believing a neighbor or group of neighbors had committed an offense which resulted in the ponding, contacted the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

Sheriff Steve Hoffman, then a deputy, said he investigated the matter and found no basis to file charges.

On Tuesday Haywood, the Burkes and other farmers who are neighbors to Haywood met with the supervisors in special session to discuss the matter.

“The reason we are here is to come to an agreement on the tiling situation,” board chairperson Steve Salesek said.

Haywood said at the meeting that if given permission to install the tile it would be buried deep enough so it would not “float up.”

He also requested Marshall County officials inspect the work when complete.

After more than one hour of discussion and fact-finding no action was taken by the board.

A second meeting may be scheduled with Kent Rode of Bolton and Menk Engineering, Planning and Consulting, said supervisor Bill Patten.

Rode is a tiling engineer who can determine water run off and determine if the 18-inch double wall tile is adequate to remove the ponding, said supervisor Bill Patten.

Patten said he would contact Rode and arrange a second meeting.

The next regular board meeting is 9:05 a.m, Nov. 26. All business to be acted upon at that session should be submitted to the auditor and recorder’s office or the supervisors’ office by 1 p.m. Nov. 21.

The supervisors’ calendar can be viewed at http://goo.gl/yubHzV