3/11/2016 8:43:00 AM Resolution against ZipRail approved
by Sandy Hadler Goodhue County Public Works Director Greg Isakson reported at the March 1 County Board meeting that a resolution had been drafted stating that the County is opposed to the proposed Zip Rail project that was suspended last month by MnDOT. The resolution will be sent to Mn/DOT, Commissioner Zelle and to Olmsted County, and will be added to the comments about the content in the Alternatives Analysis document.
The resolution is strongly worded and states: "This project is not consistent with local plans, and it is presumptuous and downright wrong to imply passive support for a project simply because the County's Comprehensive Plan is mute to the issue. It would create substantial and unacceptable adverse environmental, economic and social impacts on the lands and citizens of Goodhue County. The Goodhue County Board of Commissioners hereby declares there is no support for, and there is opposition to the Zip Rail project as presented in past meetings, past reports, and envisioned in the last study before the project was suspended, specifically the Alternatives Analysis project for the Investment Plan and the Tier 1 EIS study."
The resolution is important because comments in the Alternatives Analysis infer that local governments and communities were in favor of the Zip Rail project. Rechtzigel noted that over 25 cities, townships and agricultural co-ops in Goodhue County have also sent in resolutions stating that they are opposed to the project.
Commissioner Brad Anderson suggested that when the new County Comprehensive Plan is updated, it should state that whatever project comes forward in the future, it must benefit Goodhue County or approval will not be granted.
A Goodhue County zoning assistant has expressed interest, and is taking classes to qualify to fill the County's sanitation vacancy. The applicant will be hired for the position if septic and well inspection certificates are attained. The applicant must also be working toward becoming a registered environmental health specialist within two years. A facilities maintenance technician will be hired to replace the applicant once the requirements for the sanitation position are met.
*Land Use Planner Michael Wozniak presented Patrick Oleary's request for an amendment to a conditional use permit for an agricultural equipment repair shop in Stanton Township. The request was approved.
*Wozniak asked for an amendment to an interim use permit for Sherry Lynn Shoemaker for a dog kennel in Roscoe Township that will allow up to 16 dogs. She currently has a permit for 11 dogs. The kennel has a reputation for abiding by County rules and her request was granted.
*Wozniak discussed an interim use permit request by Jim and Christine Anderson. They were requesting to be allowed to have up to three animal units consisting of horses, llamas and dwarf goats on a 4.5 acre lot in Old Frontenac. Their children plan to show the animals at the County Fair. Because it was not exactly five acres, the Andersons were told they'd need to have a land survey done. County Attorney Stephen Betcher said they had requested and received a variance, so it was not necessary for them to have a survey done. Their request was approved. Jim thanked the County Board and Land Use management for granting their request. He said he and his wife Chris are very happy to be living in Goodhue County.