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Nicollet County hosts ditch hearing Jan. 27

Issue involves Davis Family Dairies

January 13, 2012
The Journal

ST. PETER - Nicollet County commissioners moved to hold a public hearing at 9 a.m., Jan. 27 in the county government center to discuss issues surrounding a change to County Ditch (CD) 76A by Davis Family Dairies, LLC.

The action came at the Jan. 2 county board meeting in which Public Works Director Seth Greenwood provided handouts and maps of the ditch location and proposed dairy facility in Granby Township.

Following considerable discussion among Greenwood, County Attorney Michelle Zehnder Fischer and the auditor/treasurer, they proposed the posting a bond by the dairy, hiring an engineer to assess the impact of the dairy facility on the ditch system and appointing a ditch committee pointed to review information.

Davis Family Dairy Engineer Al Larsen talked about the possibility of starting construction in the next few months and expressed concerns about the delay an engineer's report and committee decisions might take.

Commissioner James Stenson suggested certain work could be done and construction only delayed in the ditch area of the property.

It was noted that any ditch changes would be paid for by the dairy, not other landowners.

Greenwood said if due process is not followed, future landowners could bring up issues related to the ditch due to the change.

Stenson said he was concerned about the liability to the ditch system, but because it is not a change or improvement, he would not like to see it hinder project progress.

Zehner Fischer said if a change were made to a public ditch, notice would be required.

Stenson offered an amendment to a motion by the Planning & Zoning Advisory Commission's acceptance of a conditional use permit for the dairy project on Dec. 19, 2011. He sought to amend condition number 17, to appply only to a 10-acre area located in the northwest corner that falls within 100 feet of the existing CD 76A.

After discussion, the motion was withdrawn and the issue will be taken up at a future meeting.



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