County board deals with some controversial planning issues

By Jake Keohen

Montgomery Messenger

The Le Sueur County Board dealt with some controversial planning and zoning issues at its regular meeting held Tuesday, April 5, one involving a housing development near Lake Volney and another relating to a proposal by Seneca Foods to expand its spray water irrigation area south of Montgomery.

The following requests for action were presented by P & Z Administrator Kathy Brockway:

— Duane Fuhrman, Elysian (applicant/owner), a preliminary plat for a 10-lot subdivision to be known as Greenland Hills in Elysian Township. Following discussion, request was withdrawn and will go back to planning & zoning for revisions.

— Brian Kocina-Steve Rutt, Le Center (owner/applicants), a preliminary plat to establish a 35-lot subdivision to be known as Lake Volney Estates in a recreational residential district in Cordova and Lexington townships. The commission recommended approval of the plat, but since the P & Z hearing was held, a valid petition has been filed with the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) requesting an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on the proposal. The EQB then determined that Le Sueur County is the appropriate governmental unit to decide the need for an EAW. Following considerable discussion and comments from people in attendance, the county board approved two motions on 4-1 roll call votes (Culhane voting no): The EAW is not needed since all requirements have been met; the county board approves the preliminary plat as recommended by planning & zoning.

— Agri-Polymerix, Le Center (applicant), Terry McCabe, Le Center (owner), a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to construct and operate an ag-based pilot production facility/warehouse/office building in an agricultural district in Cleveland Township. Approved 5-0.

— John Hallet, New Prague (applicant), Mike Weinandt, New Prague (owner) a CUP to haul in approximately 900 cubic yards of material and grading of 400 cubic yards of material in an agricultural residential district in Lanesburgh Township. Approved 5-0.

— Denny Turek, New Prague (applicant/owner), a CUP to rezone 40 acres from agricultural residential to an urban/rural residential district in Lanesburgh Township. Approved 5-0 with conditions: Applicant shall make application for a preliminary plat with the City of New Prague within 90 days and the final plat shall be filed with the county recorder within one year after approval.

— Seneca Foods Corporation (applicant), Dennis Krautkremer, Montgomery (owner), a CUP to allow applicant to operate a spray water irrigation facility on 80 acres in an agricultural district in Montgomery Township. This application was earlier sent back to planning & zoning from the county board for further review. The planning commission recommended tabling application until such time that the MPCA makes a determination as to whether or not an Environmental Assessment Worksheet is necessary. If the worksheet is necessary, application will be tabled until review process is complete. Tabled 5-0.

In other actions or discussions, the board:

• Approved several recommendations from Personnel Coordinator Peggy Donovan, including the hiring of Brett Mason as a full-time temporary deputy sheriff with benefits effective April 3; post and advertise for the county coordinator position. Linda Fischenich, Tammy Morgan and Sue Rynda also appeared to inform the board of an upcoming employee communications workshop with expenditure of $2,500. The one-half day workshop in April will feature motivational speaker Stevie Ray.

• Received the monthly highway department report from County Engineer Darrell Pettis, approved highway striping contract with AAA Striping Service of Rogers for $133,733 and purchase of Schuft 10 ft. work platform from RDO Equipment of North Mankato for $1,597.

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