Sibley County commissioners OK pig barn permits

GAYLORD — Sibley County commissioners unanimously approved Conditional Use Permits Tuesday for two 5,980-head pig nursery barns submitted by Bryan and Nathan Sommer.

The action came on motions by Commissioner Jim Swanson, seconded by Commissioner Bill Pinske for Bryan Sommer’s application. Commissioner Steve Sexton’s motion, seconded by Pinske moved Nathan Sommer’s application.

The Sommers each requested Conditional Use Permits (CUP) to construct 5,980 head (600 Animal Unit) nursery hog barns on State Highway 19, several miles from Winthrop.

The applications were amended after a number of neighbors expressed concerns about the barns. According to an an Oct. 4 agreement, Bryan Sommer agreed to move the hog barn location north on the same real estate parcel so it will be built as far north as possible on surveyed land, consistent with county setback requirements and property topographic conditions. Nathan Sommer agreed to move his proposed hog barn west on the same real estate parcel.

Neighboring property owners Michael Rein and Rosemary Arhart agreed to withdraw their prior objections and support the modified permit.

Conditions added to the permit for both applications include obtaining a separate septic permit prior to site plumbing facilties being installed; planting and maintaining at least three rows of shrubs on the south and west side of Bryan Sommer’s proposed barn and on the north and east sides of Nate Sommer’s proposed barn.

In addition, hog barn operators shall provide 72 hours notice prior to pumping manure from the facilities and applying it to crop land.

Proposed facilities including an 82 feet by 247 feet hog barn with in-barn manure pit were earlier discussed.

Nathan Sommer said he has enough land to spread manure on at an earlier planning and zoning meeting.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.