Imagine a bio fuel plant located northwest of Belle Plaine that could potentially bring in several million dollars to the local economy, as well as create over 75 direct jobs locally, according to Chief Financial Officer Dueweke of the VNA Corporation.  Dueweke also said, “We will be hiring people local to the area- not bringing any employees from Michigan or Germany to work in Sumner County."
It sounds like it could be a great deal for Sumner County, but it has not been without its share of controversy.  
Sarah J. Harlan is a kindergarten teacher who just recently purchased land near the proposed site.  She has a new house that is being built and is nearly done.  She has been instrumental in rallying her new neighbors to find out as much as they can about this project.  Understandably, they have questions, as well as concerns.  This past Tuesday evening, she had them over to her house to find out what everyone else was thinking about this project.  
“There were 65 concerned and effected people present last night. There were several small family farmers, larger production farmers, and folks that live out here to get away from the fast paced life and live quietly. There were 80 year olds and babies. It was a beautiful thing to watch this small country community come together to save our homes from intrusion.
We primarily discussed the facts that each of us have researched. We passed out fact sheets and special meeting dates.
The main concerns discussed were as follows:
1- farmer compliance. The need for 75,000-150,000 metric tons of stalk is unattainable. That would be over 2/3 of the stalk from all wheat harvested in Sumner county. That stalk is not trash to farmers. It contains carbon to assist the second crop to grow.
2- farmers do not grow a tall strand of wheat. We, in Kansas, use a dwarf breed in order to keep the wheat standing up. Farmers are not willing to grow a taller strand.
3- water consumption. Regardless of if this company can acquire the exorbitant amount of water they will require, it will begin affecting our wells. We will see a depletion in our personal water at our homes.
4- pavement. The streets they are proposing to pave will have to cut large trees off of home owners properties. This also will create much more traffic on these paved roads. This is not desired for the people who moved out in the country. This extra traffic will also be in the way of farmers with their equipment trying to get to and from their fields.
5- humus production. This humus is highly combustible. They are planning to have a gargantuan amount of this humus (left overs) to return to farmers fields. First, the farmers will not need it back at that point, second, it causes great concern with the safety of the folks living near by.
6- previous similar plants like this have left counties in other states barren and injured their land beyond repair. This may be the most important thing. This company has built similar plants in other states and those counties report it was not what they expected and wished they could have backed out before it was too late. (Please research this)
This land is not just money on paper, but a legacy.  The land means memories. It means family, past, present, and future. This land means safety. This land means peace and security. These land quarters are not lots, but define who many of us are. To hurt the land, to us, is to hurt our hearts and souls.
Please spare us the agony of seeing everything we have worked for be destroyed by our own county’s decision. We need everyone to listen and think of how this would make them feel. Not just today, but every single day for the rest of our lives.”
Carol Spencer also lives near where the site would be.  She said, “If this plant is built in this location, it will destroy my property value, and my home is all I have.  I believe I cannot sell now if I wanted to due to disclosures to a potential buyer.  I am sunk if this goes in.”
Monica Barton lives in Belle Plaine and also has her own concerns.  “I don't think it will have any positive effect on our environment, at all. They are already making plans for what happens when they deplete the local water supply. We definitely don't get 50 million gallons of rain a year. So then they plan to take from the Ninnescah. Think about this for just a minute.... The water table and the Ninnescah are what area farmers depend on to irrigate their fields. What happens when the crops don't get enough water? It definitely doesn't rain enough to depend on that to water the wheat and corn this plant wants to use the silage from to produce biofuel. So not only will they be killing the local environment, risking the livelihood of every farmer in the area and down stream, they would be hurting their own local production. Doesn't honestly make sense to me. Don't take what they promise for granted. Their job is to prove to the public that this won't have harmful effects. Do your own research and then determine an answer.”
Greg Stover lived in Sumner County for fifteen years before moving to Oklahoma, where he still lives today.  Still, he has been following the discussion on social media and speaks enthusiastically of the idea of the bio fuel plant.  “My main reasons for supporting biofuel production is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and also to slow the effects of global warming.  As you know, sustainable biofuels produce food and fuel, raising environmental standards and production in farming, worldwide.  Another of my reasons for support includes the fact that biofuels burn much cleaner, leaving a much lower impact on the earth.”
Finally, Governor Colyer was asked to comment on the matter as he was passing through the area Wednesday afternoon.  Governor Colyer said this was the first time he had ever heard of this project, listened to the litany of concerns residents have about it, and promised to do a KDHE study down the road if it is approved by the Zoning and Planning Commission this month, followed by the County Commissioners next month.