Controversy over seed company in rural Sangamon County, business owner speaks out

Controversy over seed company in rural Sangamon County, business owner speaks out

On Tuesday, the Sangamon County Board will vote whether or not to allow a seed dealer to build on agricultural land off of Curran Road.

The business, Advanced Seed Solutions, wants to buy five acres of land in that area and build their business

"We're not a seed company. We sell directly to farmers, so we will bring seed into our facility, store it over the winter and deliver it in the spring directly to our farmers,” said Dave Wallner, co-owner of Advanced Seed Solutions.

However, because the land is classified as an agricultural lot, the company needs the county to grant what's called a land use variance.

This keeps the land zoned as agriculture, but allows the company to build on it.

This proposal is getting a lot of scrutiny from people who live near the property.

“One of the rumors is that we were buying the whole 46 acres and we're going to build at the corner of Bunker Hill and Curran Road, which is not true. We're only buying five acres. They've talked about that we're rezoning it to business or commercial, which is also not true. It's keeping it's ag zoning," explained Wallner.

The business would use semi-trucks to transport their seeds.

However, Wallner said that's only up to eighty trips a year.

He also said the trucks would not be driven through the neighborhoods.

However, residents said Curran Road still is not suited to handle vehicles as big as semi-trucks, especially because school buses also use the road.

“They are suppose to be heavy enough roads, but they're not wide enough to support a truck and a car," explained John Ruby, a concerned neighbor.

The worry is one of the vehicles, would have to drive on the shoulder, which neighbors said means more wear and tear on their roadways.

A petition not to allow the company to come to the area already has over three hundred signatures.

Neighbors said it's a good business, but the area isn't right for it.

Wallner worries not everyone understands that his company just wants to build a small warehouse.

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