County grants permit for Amish school

Mille Lacs County has granted a conditional use permit for an Amish school building to be located in a farm field at 7573 125th St. in Bogus Brook Township between Princeton and the Milaca-Bock area.

Applicant Rudy Gingerich must comply with all access upgrades and signage requirements and all building and septic codes prior to opening the school. While the permit is good for up to 50 pupils in attendance, Gingerich’s plan is for the school to have 18-24 Amish students in grades one through eight.

The Mille Lacs County Board approved the permit Sept. 16 after a presentation on the request by Mille Lacs County Land Services Director Michele McPherson.

Gingerich, who owns the 112-acre agricultural parcel the school is to be placed on, asked the county Planning Commission on Sept. 8 if the school could employ two 55-gallon barrels under the outhouses, one for boys, one for girls. The commission responded that the barrels would not be allowed under the septic code set by the state. That was followed by a discussion on holding tank requirements. McPherson told the County Board that the intent will be to have a holding tank with two access manholes and two outhouses.

A question was raised at the Planning Commission meeting whether a mobile home would be acceptable for the school, and Land Services Assistant Director Cade Steffenson answered that it would have to be modified.

McPherson, at the County Board meeting, said the supports for the roof of the structure would have to be beefed up with posts and beams to meet the code for the building’s purpose. The Planning Commission noted that the location of the building will require a new driveway, plus an area to tie up horses and buggies. McPherson told the County Board that at a minimum, the school should be required to have fire extinguishers.

The Planning Commission received a letter of support for the school from Duane Mycue, at 8203 125th St. No target date was mentioned in the Planning Commission meeting minutes for when the school would open, but Gingerich told the Planning Commission he would like to bring the mobile home to the site as soon as possible.