This week at the Rice County Board:
- Electronic Waste Collection Grant
- University of Minnesota to evaluate drywells
- Public hearing on 4/7/11 on Holden Farms Hog Operations Rezoning
Clarence Walters, LWVNCF Observer
The Commissioners gave the green light to submitting a proposal to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for grant assistance for recycling e-waste, such as computers and televisions. These grants will cover up to 75 percent of project costs with at least a 25 percent match from the county. It has not been determined if residents could drop off an unlimited number of electronic devices or if the number would be limited during this free day. Currently, e-waste is accepted at the landfill and recycling center for a fee.
Last year the county stopped their inventory of septic systems due to complaints from some residents. This was being conducted under a grant used to identify non-compliant systems. In October the board approved hiring a third party to do further analysis on the drywell systems that were identified through the septic inventory. (A drywell is usually a tall concrete cylinder with holes in the side and an open bottom.. Effluent enters the drywell from the septic tank and then exits out the holes in the side and seeps into the soil that surrounds it.)
The University of Minnesota's Onsite Sewage Treatment Program will do a two-part evaluation. They will first inspect and evaluate 15 sites with drywells to determine if any meet code. Secondly, they will investigate 9 to 15 systems to determine the impact of a drywell on the county's water resources. This will be conducted during July and August of this year.
Holden Farms wishes to increase the number of pigs they raise to 1046 animal units (1 animal unit = 3 pigs) on a farm approximately 3.5 miles southeast of Lonsdale. To do so they need to change the zoning from "shoreland" to "agricultural." The 90 acres lies between Circle Lake and protected water and feeds into Heath Creek, part of the Cannon River Watershed. A public hearing on the rezoning will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Rice County Government Services Building.