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Chandler Feed seeks height variance for new grain bin in Hardwick

Mavis Fodness

Chandler Feed Co. is seeking a height variance to add an additional grain bin at its First Street location in Hardwick.
     A public teleconference hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. No in-person hearing will be conducted in order toprevent the spread of the coronavirus.
     The proposed grain bin will be 107 feet tall with a grain leg reaching 114 feet.The new 600,000-bushel bin almost doubles the elevator’s current grain storage capacity of 675,000 bushels.
     Hardwick location manager Miles Brown submitted the variance application at the March 11 Hardwick City Council meeting.
     Chandler Feed Co. manufactures livestock feed and merchandises corn and soybeans. The company has locations inChandler, Leota, Edgerton and Woodstock.
     “It (the grain bin) is an important part of our business plan to grow … and keep as much grain off the ground as possible,” Brown indicated on the application.
     Hardwick’s building ordinance restricts in-town structures to less than 60 feet. 
     The new bin would be located south of the elevator’s main storage area on property owned by the feed company. The newbin will tie into the existing grain dump and grain leg system to fill and empty the bin.     The bin will be next to the elevator’s existing 350,000- and 250,000-bushel bins already on the feed company property.     The 350,000-bushel bin is 95 feet tall with a height variance granted in 2006.Hardwick councilman Sam Hansen serves on the city’s Board of Appeals and Adjustments.     He and Hardwick residents Tom Johnson and Don Patton measured the location of the proposed bin.Hansen said the bin’s location met setback requirements from public roads and other properties.     The adjustment board will support the height variance if no residents raise concerns at or before the April 14 public hearing.     Grain piles have attracted wildlife into town and concerns about the smell from spoiled grain on the ground have been brought tothe city council in the past.
     Hansen sees the new bin as a solution to previous concerns because most of the grain could be stored inside.“This is going to help us because they used to pile up grain at the south location,” he said.
     To join the 6 p.m. April 14 teleconference, call 877-549-5018 and enter the meeting ID number 41237.
     Prior to April 14, written comments can be mailed to Tammy Johnson, Hardwick City Clerk, P.O. Box 31, Hardwick, MN56134. Delivery of comments for the public hearing can be arranged by calling 507-669-6635.
     All written comments will be read at the public hearing.Immediately after the public hearing, the Hardwick City Council considers the variance request.
     If approved, Brown said construction on the bin will begin immediately in order for use this fall.     Chandler Feed Co. purchased the Hardwick elevator from Mouw’s Feed and Grain in 2018.

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