Controversial Composting Moves Forward

Controversial permit recommended for approval.

The renewal of the permit for Polished Properties will now go to the county board on January 7th. What is different is that this time the permit renewal request contains the addition of a specified amount and type of food waste to the composting operation.

The Cassgram reports the new request was made possible by the Cass County Board of Commissioners this past September when the board approved a county zoning amendment that keeps the size limit of composting operations in rec/ag zoning at five acres but allows the introduction of up to 1,000 cubic yards of food waste per year. The introduction of meat and dairy waste products are prohibited; only fruits and vegetables are allowed. The emission of odor is prohibited.

Polished Properties, the composting operation on 296th Street in northwest Cass County, needs to obtain the conditional use permit before the food waste can be added.

The county planning commission considered the request at its meeting this month. Four people spoke in favor of the permit and seven spoke against it, according to the (pending) meeting minutes.

The possible addition of the food waste to the existing composting operation brought residents of Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area to meetings in the past year during which they stated their concerns about possible odor, insect and rodent problems that may result.

Polished Properties will tell the county board about the odor management plan it is proposing.

Planning commission members voting yes on recommending the issuance of the conditional use permit were George Tesar, Ray Althouse, Steve Bruttig, Ron Nolte and Roy Smith. Russell Allington voted no.

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