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Corn storage sparks debate

By Staff | Dec 9, 2012

The withdrawal of a conditional use permit (CUP) request sparked debate at the Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The Faribault County Planning and Zoning Commission had three CUPs to recommend to the County Board for approval. However, one property owner withdrew his original request.

Larry Paul, of Lura Township, had temporarily stored corn on his property for area farmers during the recent harvest season.

“I like to think I did a good thing by helping fellow farmers,”?Paul says. “I wasn’t getting paid by WFS.”

In his effort to help with some of the harvest overflow, a concern was raised with the possible affect of truck traffic on the main road.

Michele Stindtman, of the Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District, contacted Paul regarding the possible need for a CUP.

The Planning and Zoning Board heard the request at a public hearing on Nov. 20.

After hearing the situation and digging a little further into the ordinance, the need for a CUP was questioned.

“When I hear a concern or complaint, I have to check into it,” Stindtman says. “I have to make sure the land use doesn’t affect health, safety or general welfare.”

The extra traffic on the road is what raised questions about safety.

“WFS probably should have requested a CUP,” Stindtman added.

She explained that WFS would have addressed what they planned to do with the excess corn at that time.

Some commissioners also questioned the business associated with the storage of the corn and whether a profit was made.

Paul assured the board that there was no money made in storing the corn. He did it strictly as a favor and didn’t intend to continue this in years to come.

“Since there is no plan to do this in the future, it’s hard to call it an accessory use which cancels the need for a CUP,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says.

Three commissioners voted to dismiss this particular request for a CUP and Commissioner Bill Groskruetz voted against the dismissal.

“To me if it looks like a business and smells like a business, it’s a business, whether money is made or not,” he said.

The motion carried to dismiss the request.

The Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of two other CUPs at the County Board meeting. Public hearings were held for both on the evening of Nov. 20 as well.

Becky Krause of Delavan plans to open a bed and breakfast in her current residence. There were no members of the public that spoke against this request at the public hearing.

Krause will still have to obtain licenses from the state, however, the county board did approve the recommended CUP.

“This will be the first bed and breakfast we’ve really had,” Loveall says.

Ray and Jim Oswald of Emerald Acres also sought approval of a CUP request.

Their request, required by ordinance, was for an animal feedlot with more than 1,000 animal units.

There was no comment made for or against the request at the public hearing and the Board of Commissioners approved the CUP.

A maintenance fee of $50, every two years, will be required from the property owners as long as the permit is in effect.

In other business;

The Board of Commissioners discussed hiring a part-time employee to cover several different openings in various departments.

The Faribault County Sheriff’s Department currently needs extra help with scanning and billing due to the increase of jail population, which is currently around 35 people.

The county commissioners approved the hiring of an employee on a part-time basis. The personnel committee will work with the Sheriff’s Department to discuss the best way to fill the position.

The board set a reminder that the next regular County Commissioners meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. instead of 9 a.m.

Following the board meeting will be the Truth in Taxation hearing which is set to begin at 6 p.m.