May 5, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.

Hot mix plant permit gets city council approval on split vote

Hot mix plant permit gets city council approval on split vote
Hot mix plant permit gets city council approval on split vote

The Chisago City council made a split decision April 26 to move forward on a request for an Interim Use Permit for an asphalt plant. The decision brings to a close two years of debate by professional consultants, attorneys, and residential land owners, in both Chisago and Washington counties.

In 2009 the Dresel company leased land for a hot mix plant to be used for work that was being done on I35 in Forest Lake. Immediately debate raged over whether or not permits from the 1970's were valid for that particular parcel of land.

Residents near the hot mix plant have come forward with complaints regarding noxious odors, operating hours, noise during operation and heavy truck movement, and concerns about waste possibly contaminating ground water.

Dresel Contracting owners have made efforts to appease angry neighbors.

In an effort to take a step forward Dresel company researched a counter-flow plant and spending $750,000 on improvements. But according to the neighboring landowners, they do not wish to face another season of living indoors and losing the enjoyment of working and playing in their yards this summer. One resident angrily questioned how council members "can sleep at night."

A resolution by the City of Forest Lake, city council was not allowed to be submitted. Audience members became restless and angry grumblings resonated throughout the packed council chamber. Mayor Bob Gustafson reminded the speaker that the time had come and gone for discussion; if someone had wished to speak, they needed to contact staff to be put on the agenda.

Both Marie Rivers and Ron Swenson voted to deny moving forward with a resolution for an IUP a one year permit, for the asphalt plant. Gustafson, Joe Sroga and Larry Parker voted yes. Swenson wished to revise the IUP so it wouldn't be renewable.

City attorney Tom Miller reminded council members that the applicant still needs to accept the terms and conditions stated within the resolution. If this happens, the resolution will be presented to council May 10.

In another matter before council, Peterson Companies had requested a boundary detachment and adjustment (a joint powers agreement between Chisago City and the City of Wyoming) at the April 12 council meeting. Peterson is looking to rebuild after losing a structure in a fire in March.

On April 19, the Wyoming city council voted unanimously to deny the request to annex the site into Chisago City. City staff met with Wyoming at the County EDA office April 28 to discuss Peterson's options. Staff will share developments at the May 10 Chisago City council meeting.

Mn/DOT is implementing new coordinated timing at lighted intersections on Hwy. 8 from Greenway Avenue in Forest Lake to Lincoln Road (County 14) in Lindstrom. Adjustments to the traffic lights began last week and continue over the next several weeks.

Mn/DOT requests that questions or comments regarding the timing of the Hwy. 8 traffic signals be directed to Kevin Schwartz. Schwartz can be reached at 651-234-7840 or at [email protected].

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