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Board hears more hog complaints

But, Planning and Zoning says facility has been in compliance

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jan 24, 2021

There was more discussion on the odor emanating from a hog facility in Dunbar Township when the Faribault County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Jan. 19.

Brad Bruegger participated in the meeting virtually and asked the commissioners to revoke the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) for R & R Hogs or amend it to add more conditions.

Bruegger, who resides in Dunbar Township near the hog facility, had voiced his displeasure with the smell at the previous meeting of the County Board.

“The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has monitored the hydrogen sulfide level at Mr. Bruegger’s property line and found it to average .1 parts per billion, with a high reading of four parts per billion,” Planning and Zoning administrator Loria Rebuffoni explained. “The MPCA considers 30 parts per billion to be the level where action is needed.”

The planting of trees around the facility was also brought up. Rebuffoni said the farm has purchased more trees with intention of planting them this spring.

Rebuffoni then explained the position of the Planning and Zoning Board.

“It is our opinion there is not a violation, despite the contentious issues,” she said.

Commissioner Bill Groskreutz commented he heard from someone regarding the CUP who stated, “What good is it to have a CUP if they are not going to enforce the conditions?”

Rebuffoni also informed the board Micah Twedt is reapplying for his MPCA permit for his proposed hog facility south of Frost.

“This is for information purposes only, the board does not need to take any action,” Rebuffoni commented.

Sticking with Planning and Zoning issues, commissioner Greg Young reported on the progress of a proposed nuisance ordinance to deal with junk stored on yards.

“We are hoping to get more public comment on the issue,” Young commented. “We are not going to rush into it.”

Public Works director Mark Daly also attended the meeting virtually and had a number of bids for the commissioners to consider.

“We received one bid for a crack seal kettle. It was a MN CPV (Minnesota Cooperative Venture) bid from Stepp Manufacturing for $57,340 which is under the $59,000 budgeted,” Daly explained. “Our old crack sealing kettle was damaged years ago and is no longer safe to use.”

The bid was unanimously approved.

The board also approved bids for a new truck lift for $168,876 which was $6,124 under the budgeted amount and a bid for a new tip trailer from Yeager Implement. The quote for the trailer came in at $7,600 which was $400 under the budgeted amount.

The final bid for consideration was for a 2021 Dodge 2500 Big Horn Crew Cab, 4 x 4 pickup. The bid came in at $42,805, which was less than the $50,000 budgeted for the purchase. The board also considered a Ford pickup but went with the Dodge because of the lower bid price and better features.

Billeye Rabbe, the Solid Waste coordinator for the county, was on hand to get approval for renewing the licenses of eight businesses who haul solid waste or recycled material in the county.

In other business, the board:

• Approved granting an intoxicating on-sale liquor license with Sunday sales to Ann Erickson of the Golden Bubble in Foster Township.

• Passed a resolution approving the sale of tax forfeited property in the city of Frost for the purpose of dealing with blight issues. The selling price of the two parcels is $1 each.

• Updated the lease with the city of Blue Earth for Faribault County Economic Development Authority office space in the Ag Center building. The new lease will have a 2.5 percent increase and will be effective from Feb. 1, 2021 through Jan. 31, 2022. The rent is $265/month.

• Approved the training request of Mark Purvis of the Sheriff’s Department to attend the Advanced Law Enforcement Sniper training course held in Nebraska.