Emotions hot as plant hours expand

Against the advice of Land Services Office director Michele McPherson, county commissioners amended the hours of operation for a bituminous hot mix plant at their June 18 meeting.

The motion to amend an existing interim use permit (IUP) passed on a 3-2 vote, board chairman Phil Peterson casting the deciding vote.

Commissioner Dave Oslin made the motion and it was seconded by Commissioner Tim Wilhelm. They both voted for the motion and commissioners Genny Reynolds and Roger Tellinghuisen voted against.

The original request, acted upon by the county’s planning commission at its June 10 meeting, was to amend an IUP to allow installation of a portable bituminous hot mix plant from July 10 to Nov. 30 at an existing gravel pit.

The unanimous recommendation from the planning commission was to approve the request.

During discussion at the planning commission meeting, a request was made by Sue Vierggee of Central Specialties, Inc., to extend the hours of operation.

McPherson told planning commission members that there had not been a public notice that included a change in hours.

That subject came up again at last week’s County Board meeting, Commissioner Oslin asking why the hours in the IUP differed from the county’s ordinance.

(The ordinance permits hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, while the IUP approved by the planning commission listed hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

McPherson gave Oslin an explanation and said it would not be appropriate for the board to make changes in hours because there had been no chance for public comment.

Commissioner Wilhelm then asked when a public hearing could be held to discuss a change in hours.

For the full story, see the Thursday, June 27 print edition of the Times.