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County Board grants 3 Met Tower CUPs

By Staff | Nov 24, 2019

Planning and zoning administrator Loria Rebuffoni and S Power representative Robert Wilson came before the County Board on Tuesday, Nov. 19, seeking conditional use permits for the building of three meteorological towers to be placed in Foster and Kiester townships. The board approved the requests.

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners had four conditional use permits (CUPs) to consider at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The first CUP request the board dealt with was from the Minnesota Regular Baptist Camp, Inc., which is located in Delavan Township.

The CUP would allow the camp to make additions and improvements to the camp.

“This is not a building permit,” planning and zoning administrator Loria Rebuffoni reminded the board. “Any new building would still require a permit and would be subject to setback and other ordinance requirements.”

“What happens on the shoreline impacts the whole lake because it is a small lake,” commissioner Tom Loveall stated. “The camp has been good neighbors for 50 years and I support the CUP.”

The board voted unanimously in favor of the CUP.

The next three CUPs all dealt with the construction of meteorological towers (Met Towers) by Southern Hills Wind, LLC. The towers would be built in the Kiester area. One tower would be in Foster Township and two towers would be placed in Kiester Township.

The towers would be 200 feet tall and be in place for four to seven years, according to the CUP.

There was no public discussion either for or against the towers and the commissioners passed all three CUPs unanimously.

Sheriff Mike Gormley and chief deputy Scott Adams came before the board needing approval to accept a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

“The grant is for $4,719,” Gormley explained. “The grant provides reimbursement to counties to cover costs related to labor and equipment in the enforcement of off highway vehicle laws, rules and regulations. It also provides for local youth training classes.”

The board voted to accept the grant.

The County Board held two closed sessions during their regular meeting.

The first closed session dealt with union negotiations. After the closed session ended, county attorney Kathryn Karjala reported the board had directed their labor attorney, Susan Hanson, to do more research regarding some labor issues.

The second closed session concerned litigation on County Ditch 21. Once the board resumed their meeting Karjala said the board had discussed negotiation strategy with their attorney.

One of the final actions taken by the board before adjourning was to change the start time of the Dec. 17 regular meeting to 3 p.m. The Truth in Taxation meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

In other business:

The board approved the hiring of Sarah Van Moer as a part-time clerk/typist in the recorder’s office.

A request by Barbara Shimmon, an accountant in the public works department, to attend a one-day Leadership and Management Skills for Women conference in Mankato was approved.

The board approved the request of Central Services director Lexi Scholten to attend a three-day Association of Minnesota Counties annual conference in St. Cloud.