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Permits for seven new feedlots get preliminary OK from county

WILLMAR -- Conditional use permits were unanimously approved Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission for the construction of seven new turkey barns that will house 89,700 birds.

Four barns will be located in Roseville Township and three will be Burbank Township in general agricultural districts.

No one spoke against the proposals.

The Kand-iyohi County Commissioners will take final action Aug. 17.

Because th-ere are al-ready turkey barns on the two sites, the proposals by Jennie-O Turkey Store were for an expansion of existing feedlots.

When the new barns are completed in Roseville Township, that feedlot will have a total of 92,000 turkeys, or 1,656 animal units.

Upon completion of the new barns in Burbank Township, that feedlot will have a total of 67,000 turkeys, or 1,215 animal units. Because the total animal units of each feedlot exceed 999, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issues a permit regarding water quality issues.

As part of the county permit, conditions were approved that will require dead animals to be properly disposed of and kept out of site, and that all MPCA requirements be followed regarding proper manure management planning, application and record keeping.

Planning Commissioner Gary Geer said this is the first time since 2007 that conditional use permits were sought and granted for a turkey barn expansion in Kandiyohi County. At that time, Jennie-O's proposal to build additional barns near Hawick was met with local protests from residents. Although the permits were approved, the barns were never built.

Also on Monday, the Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit requested by Jerome Taatjes for a new feedlot for a swine operation in Holland Township. The total confinement finishing barn will house 2,490 hogs, or 747 animal units, in an A-1 agricultural preservation district.

The only opposition came from a neighbor who lived about half a mile away. In a letter, Gary Meyer said he supports the Taatjes' family farm but said this would be the fourth hog farm built in his neighborhood and that his home would have odor coming from all four directions.

County Commissioner Harlan Madsen said the Taatjes' current swine operation is well-run and odors are minimal and that he gave their new application "100 percent support."

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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