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Feedlot to double in size within one mile of Steen city limits

Mavis Fodness

Dennis and Benji Kellenberger will double the size of their swine operation within a mile of Steen city limits, thanks to Rock County Board approval on Sept. 8.
The father and son operation will increase their existing feedlot from 720 animal units to 1,440 just south of Steen in Section 32 of Clinton Township.
Because the expansion is greater than 1,000 animal units, the Kellenbergers were required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Eric Hartman, Rock County Land Management director, said a public hearing for the expansion was conducted Aug. 24, and no one showed up to oppose the expansion.
He said his office received a voicemail message concerning possible negative impacts to a privately owned well in Steen. “The issue was addressed at the public hearing,” Hartman told commissioners.
At the public hearing four measures were cited indicating the well would not be negatively impacted.
•A reinforced concrete manure storage pit under the building is planned and is deemed adequate to contain manure generated by the animals.
•Soils surrounding the building contain a high clay contents and will add additional protection to the ground water.
•The distance between the well in Steen and the proposed building is beyond the county setback requirement.
•Hydrogeology of the soils shows groundwater in the location of the feedlot is moving away from the city of Steen.
The Rock County Planning and Zoning Commission also recommended eight conditions to the Kellenbergers’ conditional use permit, which the commissioners also supported.
The conditions stipulated the proper handling of manure, the control of odor and the licensing requirements necessary to operate a feedlot in the county.
Board doesn’t act on MVTV grant request
In other board action at the Sept. 8 meeting, commissioners did not support MVTV Wireless’ application for a Border-to-Border Development Grant.
The motion to support did not move forward due to a lack of a second.
MVTV is seeking a 50-percent match to enhance service levels within its 30,000-square-mile coverage area in southwest Minnesota.

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