Fischer: ‘It’s been a good 12 years’Landfill, ethanol plant construction among memorable moments in commissioner’s tenure .
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Davison County’s District 2 Commissioner Jerry Fischer said his farewells Thursday, removed his nameplate from its holder, and turned off the lights.
“We’ve had some interesting times,” said Fischer, 66, reflecting on his 12 years as a county commissioner.
Elected in 2000, Fischer, a Democrat, served two terms as chairman and three as vice chairman.
Before then he operated highway equipment for the city of Mitchell and then spent 25 years as a Mitchell firefighter.
During Fischer’s tenure, the commissioners approved a new landfill for the city of Mitchell, worked through protests and issues surrounding development of the Poet ethanol plant in Loomis, and dealt with zoning protests associated with the Hostler feedlot that was built east of Mount Vernon.
“All three were political hot potatoes because some folks wanted the projects and some did not, but as commissioners we had to look at the whole picture and what’s good for Davison County, including the city residents,” Fischer said.
The landfill was a cost-effective service that was needed, he said.
“The city had the property and it was just logical that it should have been built there. It’s a good landfill and has worked out very well for the city and the county.”
The ethanol plant helped to increase the market for locally grown corn.
“The only thing we didn’t like was that the plant was so far off a major road,” Fischer said. “Most plants like that are built closer to major highways, but this wasn’t, so we knew costs would be incurred to maintain that road.”
Heavy grain truck traffic to and from the plant has stressed secondary roads that were never designed for such traffic, and maintaining the four miles of 247th Street between Highway 37 and the town of Loomis has cost the county millions of dollars.
“And it needs continuous maintenance,” Fischer said.
The times have changed and the commissioners have had to change with them, Fischer said.
“The cost of doing business has really escalated and there’s no end in sight when it comes to higher costs for roads and bridges.”
Three things Fischer said he learned during his time in office are that “one commissioner can’t do everything, money is always in short supply and county government is complicated.”
Fischer believes the commissioners have the county’s current issues in perspective and that their main challenge will be to find funding for the operation of county government.
His immediate goals are to take some time off and hopefully find a part-time job in the spring.
“It’s been a good 12 years and a learning experience,” Fischer said. “I would encourage people to run for public office and see what it’s like. It gives you a whole different outlook on how things really operate in government.”