The Faribault County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to extend a pipeline moratorium in the county for another year.
The Planning and Zoning Commission has been working on drafting a permanent ordinance prohibiting the establishment of non-essential pipelines that would discharge wastewater into protected waters of the county.
An interim moratorium was originally adopted on March 17, 2011, to give county officials time to research the issue and develop an ordinance.
Dumping in the Blue Earth River would be prohibited with the new ordinance being drafted.
Due to the difficult nature of creating a new ordinance from scratch, the extension of the moratorium Tuesday has granted the Planning and Zoning Commission additional time to complete the ordinance beyond their original March 17, 2012, deadline.
"I would like to commend the planning and zoning commission's and Michele's (Stindtman planning and zoning administrator) work on this," says board chairman John Roper. "It's something that has never been done before and I look forward to the progress that's still to come."
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman J.R. Hanson says the ordinance should be completed and sent to the board for approval within the next couple of months.
County Attorney Troy Timmerman says the reason the moratorium was extended for a full year is to protect the county from any unforseen problems they may encounter in drafting the ordinance.
"It is paramount to Faribault County we get this right," says commissioner Tom Warmka. "I would rather do this right than have something that is half baked and the souffle falls." Hanson says the planning and zoning commission is now meeting monthly to speed the process of developing an ordinance. A sub-committee has also been established to meet whenever needed.
Timmerman suggests before the ordinance is brought to the board for approval, another public meeting be held on the topic.
Commissioner Tom Loveall says the planning and zoning commission has also been working on an adult-use ordinance, a comprehensive land use plan and the tweaking of other ordinances, making it difficult to finalize a pipeline ordinance.
In other business the commissioners:
Approved to advertise for bids for 151,000 gallons of seal coat oil. This will be enough to seal 42 miles of asphalt surfaced roads this construction season.
Approved filling an opening in the probation office. The position will be 20 hours a week.
Tasked County Auditor/Treasurer John Thompson with writing a letter from the commissioners in support of the city of Blue Earth's recommendation for a concrete reconstruction instead of asphalt on Hwy. 169.
The letter will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and they will make the final decision of what surface is used.