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Emmet County Board of Supervisors Supervisors direct county attorney to combat odor

Hansen to file for enforcement action

September 19, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

At Tuesday morning's Emmet County Supervisors meeting, the supervisors went into closed session for 45 minutes to discuss litigation. When they re-opened the county board room doors, they announced that the supervisors had directed the zoning board of adjustment and the county attorney to take enforcement action against the Central Bi Products rendering plant.

The plant is located south of Estherville off Highway 4. Complaints of odor have poured in over the spring and summer, culminating in a public meeting with officials from Central Bi Products in July and a Board of Adjustment meeting in August. At both meetings, Dan Hildebrandt of Farmers Union Industries, the company that owns Central Bi Products, gave assurances that the company was working to make improvements. A new addition and new scrubbers were slated to come in September; now the company is saying it will be December.

County attorney Doug Hansen said it would be next week before his office filed the enforcement action. The maximum fine for first offense is $750; for subsequent offenses, the maximum fine is $1,000 per day.

Supervisors chair Bev Juhl said, "We have to protect the citizens of Estherville from this odor."

As of press time, Dan Hildebrandt, CEO of Farmers Union Industries, and Alyssa Hammerschmidt, communications director for the company, had not issued any statement or responsive communication to a message asking whether the company had completed and turned in its conditional use permit, had stopped taking deadstock, or had made progress on installing new scrubbers or constructing a facility in which trucks coming into the plant can be unloaded indoors.

In other business, the supervisors received the 2018 Fair Report from the Emmet County Fair Board. Cami Paulson, Betty Fiddler, and Brittany Rosburg represented the fair. Paulson requested help from the board to pay for entertainment costs for next year's fair, stating that some of the acts this year had their own followings and brought lots of people to town, in addition to local people who came out for the concerts.

Juhl said the supervisors would consider the item at budget time.

Brittany Rosburg, Emmet County Extension director, said the extension office received the blueprints and ideas from Worth County. That county recently built a new building for its Extension, fair, meeting rooms and restrooms with entrances from the outside so parties holding an event at the Fairgrounds can use the restrooms. Estimates are not yet available, but she will keep the supervisors informed.

The supervisors also approved the Business Property Tax Credit applications received by July 1, 2018 and also to approve the disallowed and retired tax credits.

The supervisors also approved the Emmet County Public Health Department's 2018 Wellness Clinic, to be held Oct. 23, 2018. Flu shots and blood panels will be covered for any county employee and dependents covered by county insurance.

Travis Sheridan, Emmet County Emergency Manager, presented information about emergency sirens at Tuttle Lake and Wolden Park campgrounds. Sheridan will get estimates for the cost of sirens and shelter updates and get back to the supervisors with that information.

County engineer Walter Davis-Oeth presented utility permits for approval, and discussed the upgrade of Level B roads to level A roads, and updated the progress on bridges. The south bridge on N52 will be open for use as soon as the guardrail is up; the north bridge will be closed for some time. On Neppel Hill bridge, county workers have finished dirtwork on the east side, and must wait for the dirt to settle.

The next meeting of the Emmet County Supervisors will be Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Emmet County courthouse.



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