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County Board debates where to put the dirt

By Staff | Jul 7, 2013

As road construction on Highway 169 gets underway in Blue Earth, the contractors on the project may have hit a snag.

Ulland Brothers who have been contracted for the project are looking for a place to haul and store material from the highway.

The crew had previously selected a location, however, that didn’t pan out, so they came to the county to ask if the land between Walmart and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) building could be utilized.

After hearing the request, County Attorney Troy Timmerman and Michele Stindtman of Soil and Water Conservation District felt a conditional use permit may be necessary before proceeding.

“This will affect the state shop and the Walmart,” Timmerman says. “The public needs the notification so they can address any issues they may have.”

He adds that allowing this shouldn’t lead to any drainage issues, but there could be some problems with dust.

“With a CUP hearing, the public would have the opportunity to ask questions and give some input,” Timmerman explains.

The Faribault County Commissioners thought the location was fitting for the project but were worried about the CUP process slowing the timeline of the project.

“It’s an excellent site, close to the job and a willing landowner,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says. “I’m okay with expediting it forward but there does need to be a hearing.”

The board members discussed the possibility of having the hearing and bringing the recommendation to the board at the July 23 meeting which will be held during the Faribault County Fair.

“The ball is in Ulland’s court at the moment,” County Engineer John McDonald says. “They need to get the permit submitted.”

Once Ulland Brothers applies for the CUP?a 10-day notice prior to the hearing is required.

“We need to ensure we’re not allowing a project that is affecting what they (Walmart) do,” Stindtman. “We’re not doing this to slow Ulland Brothers down it’s to protect the county.”

The commissioners were in favor of holding a hearing for a CUP and told Stindtman to stay in discussion with Ulland Brothers.

“We don’t want to stand in their way,” Commissioner Bill Groskreutz says.

The board also suggested that if this option doesn’t work out for Ulland Brothers, there are other locations to look at.

According to Stindtman, the land they wish to use is zoned as agricultural land and is not located within city limits. After the project is complete the land would be able to be used for ag purposes again.