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Planning Commission approves controversial hog facility in Carimona


Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - For several years, Dave Mensink and Ann O'Connor have worked together side by side as Carimona Township Supervisors. On Thursday night, however, they were on opposite sides of a debate on whether Mensink's application for a Conditional Use Permit for two 1200 hog facilities should be approved by the Fillmore County Planning & Zoning Commission.

Mensink testified before a standing room only crowd that the proposed site in Section 31, approximately one mile north of Greenleafton, met all of the county zoning requirements and should be approved.

O'Connor argued that the number of hog feedlots in Carimona Township had reached a point of saturation and that Mensink's application should be rejected.

Mensink provided the Commission with Karst and soil boring results that showed there were no Karst features within a 1000 feet of the site and that the location was also well within bedrock limits.

Mensink told the group that the facility would meet all the setback requirements, with the closest neighbor being 1700 feet away. Using the Offset Model, the facility would comply with 94% annoyance odor measures at 1067 feet. He also said that the site was more than 4000 feet away from the town of Greenleafton. Mensink said that he had 475 acres available for manure application.

Mensink's application was for approximately 700 animal units. The Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance requires a conditional use permit for anything more than 500 animal units. Mensink told the Commission that he could have put up one building and not needed a permit, and add a second building in two years, thus avoiding a public hearing.

"I wanted my project to be totally transparent to my neighbors and the public," Mensink said. "It would make it a more credible project."

A number of people spoke in support of Mensink's application. Many were neighbors who testified to Mensink's farming practices and efforts to be a good neighbor.

Harry Root, who farms adjacent to Mensink's land, described Mensink as a good farmer who respects the environment.

"We need to support good farmers," Root said.

O'Connor showed Commissioners a map prepared by Feedlot Officer Mike Frauenkron which showed where hog feedlot operations were located in Carimona Township.

"Mike Frauenkron told me that we [Carimona] are at the point of saturation, because there are so many hog feedlots," O'Connor said.

She went on to list .....
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Spring Valley City Council monitors junk on property

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Government

SPRING VALLEY - A couple of items on the agenda of the Spring Valley City Council meeting held Aug. 13, consumed time and had to be dealt with.

Several weeks ago the Council announced that an inspection of junk on homeowners property would ..... 
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Rushford purchases 23.5 acres for $699,000

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - Optimistic about the future of Rushford, the city council purchased 23.5 acres of land currently zoned industrial from Wallace Himlie at the August 13 council meeting. Recognizing the land as one of the few remaining undeveloped "chunks" ..... 
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Harmony looks into well problems

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Government

HARMONY - The City of Harmony has been dealing with some well problems lately, according to city employee Chris Johnson. Johnson brought City Council members up to date at the council meeting last Tuesday evening.

The well near the water to ..... 
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Commissioners Report: Consultant to work on emergency plan

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Fillmore County Board, in a drawn out meeting mostly dedicated to pruning preliminary budgets, approved the hiring of a consultant to help complete an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) at their August 14 meeting. Deborah Teske, Veteran S ..... 
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Fillmore County goes forward on County Based Purchasing

Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Charity Floan, StedFast Health Plan, addressed the county board at their Tuesday, August 7 meeting, to better inform them about County Based Purchasing (CBP) and the potential obligations of the county. Olmsted County pursued the developme ..... 
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Preston considers State Building Code

Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Preston City Council members had an opportunity to learn more about the advantages or disadvantages of adopting the State Building Code at their August 6 meeting. Jay Kruger of Construction Management Services of Rochester briefed the coun ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Environmental issues spotlighted

Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
Posted in Government

Ironically, the strong essence of gym floor sealer pervaded and polluted the council chamber's air supply as the Lanesboro City council spent much of its Monday, August 6 meeting dealing with other possible pollution issues.

First Robert Tho ..... 
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Spring Valley City Council Council authorizes study of Hudson Avenue project

Fri, Jul 27th, 2007
Posted in Government

Spring Valley - After a tour of the Spring Valley Library, the Waste Water Treatment Plant, Streets and Ambulance Station, the City Council took action on a couple of items at their July 23 meeting.

First of all, the Hudson Avenue Project ha ..... 
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