DC committee recommends rezone for Cedar Country Co-op LP

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development committee is recommending a rezone to commercial requested by Cedar Country Cooperative for a liquid propane storage facility along state Highway 170 between Wheeler and Boyceville.

The PRD committee held a public hearing June 24 on the application for a rezone from Agricultural 2 to Commercial submitted by Thomas Lutzen, land owner, and Paul Diemert, acting as the agent for Cedar Country.

The five-acre parcel is described as being a half mile from the ethanol plant, south of the Canadian National Railroad and north of Highway 170.

Cedar Country plans to have LP tank storage at the site and to fill their trucks for delivery to surrounding communities, said Bob Colson, Dunn County planner.

Diemert has met with the Hay River Town Board, and the town board is in support of the rezone, Colson said.

There is an existing approach to the property, and the site meets the requirements for line-of-site on the highway, Diemert told the committee.

Several years ago, Cedar Country Cooperative bought Dunn Energy’s propane business, and the two tanks, one 30,000 gallons and one 18,000 gallons, are still located on Dunn Energy property, he said.

“I need to find a spot to put those tanks,” Diemert said.

Cedar Country Cooperative is an agricultural supply business, and having an LP storage and loading facility will help keep area farmers in production, he noted.

The landowner also says that the five acres is sandy soil and only produces a few round bales of hay per year, Diemert said, noting that taking it out of agricultural production for the LP facility would have a minimal impact on the farmer’s business.

In addition, there are no residences in the area, and the LP facility “will not increase traffic very much,” Diemert said.

“I do not see a big issue with recommending the (zoning) change,” Colson said.

Neighboring landowners have all been contacted, and Colson said his office has not received any concerns from the neighbors.

Following a motion to approve recommending that the Dunn County Board rezone the property to commercial, Gary Bjork, county board supervisor from Colfax and a member of the PRD committee, asked if he should abstain from voting.

Bjork said he is a member of the cooperative, has previously served as a board member on the Cedar Country Cooperative’s board of directors, that his brother currently serves on the board of directors.

Nick Lange, Dunn County corporation counsel, said that Bjork will not be receiving any direct economic gain from the rezone, and in his opinion, did not need to abstain from voting on the motion.

The PRD committee unanimously approved recommending a rezone for Cedar Country from Agricultural 2 to Commercial for the LP facility.

The Dunn County Board is expected to vote on the rezone at the July meeting.