It was standing room only at the Devils Lake City Commission meeting on Monday as members of the Lake Region Concerned Citizens attended to show support for spokesperson Janelle Engstrom and their cause.

It was standing room only at the Devils Lake City Commission meeting on Monday as members of the Lake Region Concerned Citizens  attended to show support for spokesperson Janelle Engstrom and their cause.

Engstrom took the podium during the Visitors and Delegations portion of the meeting and delivered an impassioned report on the hazards that can accompany a hog farm operation like the one proposed for Pelican Township west of Devils Lake.

She cited problem after problem that other places, like the state of Iowa, had experienced and asked the city to consider taking a stand on the issue, opposing the proposed hog farm.
Her main argument was not so much opposition to all hog farms, but to the location of this proposed hog farm because of its close proximity to Devils Lake and wetlands that drain into Devils Lake.

She and the group, Lake Region Concerned Citizens, provided maps for the commissioners to view the proposed site and the places where hog waste will be applied to fields. Their concern is that the waste will contaminate the water of Devils Lake and ruin its recreational and fishing appeal.
She cited the economic impact this might have on the entire Lake Region should this happen.

When she was finished, Engstrom returned to her seat in the audience then stood and asked the mayor and commissioners point blank, “Are you willing to stand with us to save this community?”

Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson replied to her question saying that the issue was out of their jurisdiction. Several members of the audience reacted audibly to the mayor’s reply and order had to be restored to the meeting before moving forward with the agenda.