Goodhue County Board briefsFrom the meeting of Sept. 4, 2012.
Mining committee ramps up
The Goodhue County Mining Committee is coming together after the county extended its sand mining moratorium. The next meeting is Sept. 25.
On Tuesday, the County Board approved the appointment of Beau Kennedy to the mining committee. He is the water planner and wetland administrator for the Goodhue County Soil and Water Conservation District. Staff said Kennedy would help provide an environmental perspective.
Commissioner Jim Bryant said committee members should be asked if they think mining should go anywhere in Goodhue County or nowhere. If the answer is yes to either, they should not be on the committee, he said.
“They need to be open minded,” he said. “Right now we have to look at can it fit in Goodhue County or can it not?”
He also suggested a committee member chair the group now instead a staff member.
The moratorium was extended in mid-August and could last up to September 2013. That will allow the committee to delve deeper into details and come up with any additions to the county’s zoning ordinance.
The board also passed a resolution asking state agencies to study silica sand mining issues such as transportation, air quality and water issues.
Wind project questioned
Goodhue County Board Chair Richard Samuelson brought up a concern over AWA Goodhue’s wind project at the close of Tuesday’s meeting. Samuelson said he has heard concerns from constituents that the company no longer fits as a Community-Based Energy Development. He said the company has shifted away from local investments to a Texas owner.
The board asked County Attorney Stephen Betcher to look into what, if anything, would change if the project was no longer classified as a C-BED. Both Samuelson and Betcher emphasized moving with caution.
“It’s not the same company. There’s no doubt it’s changed,” Betcher said. “Whether that’s legally significant, I don’t know.”
Land purchase OK’d
The board voted 3-2 to allow Public Works Director Greg Isakson move forward with a land purchase likely necessary for a future road construction project. The purchase of a foreclosed property would be beneficial for the project that would construct the South East Collector from Highway 52 to either 318th Street or up to Highway 25, Isakson said.
Details are uncertain. For example, if the road only goes to 318th Street, this land would not be needed. But it is a good opportunity to buy the land now, Isakson said.
The county won’t need all the property, he added, so it could be parceled and sold after construction. The cost now is about $300,000.
“I think it’s too much for a foreclosed piece of property,” Commissioner Jim Bryant said, and voted no. Commissioner Ted Seifert also voted against the purchase.
Wedding venue denied
@brief/summary text: The County Board rejected a conditional-use permit for a wedding venue in Warsaw Township, citing a number of concerns from noise to access.
The board followed the 5-3 recommendation of the Planning Advisory Commission to deny the request. The Warsaw Township Board also had expressed its disapproval of the project.
In proposing the denial, Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel listed a number of concerns including the frequency of events proposed, noise, the proximity to other farms, potential lack of access for emergency personnel and the commercial nature of the venue that would be in an agricultural zoning district.
Tuesday’s County Board meeting lasted about two hours and 10 minutes. All members were present.
— Compiled by Danielle Nordine, staff writer