Dairy’s critics mobilize ahead of Nov. 3 hearingALEXANDRIA — Opponents of a large dairy operation proposed in Hanson County are urging county residents to show up and join the opposition at a Nov. 3 hearing.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
ALEXANDRIA — Opponents of a large dairy operation proposed in Hanson County are urging county residents to show up and join the opposition at a Nov. 3 hearing.
The Concerned Citizens of Hanson County convened at the Hanson County Courthouse on Wednesday night to be updated on their fight to stop the 7,000-head dairy from being built northeast of Fulton, and to prepare for the upcoming hearing.
The residents in attendance hope the hearing, scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in Alexandria, results in a judge issuing a writ to prevent Michael Crinion, owner of Hanson County Dairy Developers, from doing anything further to develop the water resources relating to the dairy project while the Concerned Citizens challenge the dairy’s water permit.
The hearing comes as a result of a lawsuit filed Oct. 14 in Hanson County by attorney R. Shawn Tornow, who is representing the residents of Hanson County who are opposed to the construction of the dairy.
As of yet, the dairy’s developers have not submitted any response to the court regarding the request for the writ.
State Rep. Stace Nelson, RFulton, has been alongside the concerned citizens for much of their fight.
According to Nelson, the Hanson County residents will argue Crinion’s water permit should not have been issued because the county was inadequately informed about the effect the dairy would have on the local water supply.
The 720,000 gallons of water the dairy would use each day from the region’s aquifer is more than what is used by the rest of the county combined, Nelson said.
More than 430 adult residents of Hanson County have signed up in opposition to the proposed dairy, and many are helping to fund the ongoing legal battle with the dairy’s developers, according to information presented Wednesday night.
Nelson expressed his frustration about how the dairy project has been handled by state government thus far.
“Who’s the state to come in here and shove a business down the community’s throat?” Nelson said.
Rob Bender, who owns land near the proposed location of the dairy outside Fulton, said the possibility of a tax increment financing district being created to assist the dairy’s development is still in limbo.
Bender reported that Crinion had not yet submitted a building plan to the county and until that happens, county commissioners are not allowed to decide whether to create a TIF district.
Nelson urged residents to make their presence known at the upcoming hearing.
“Pass it neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, if you have some free time, come to this thing,” Nelson said.