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Supervisors set aside odor log

By Staff | Apr 5, 2011

The Emmet County engineer’s office will no longer keep an “odor log” per se – however, county residents who wish to file a zoning-related complaint can still call the engineer’s office at 362-4846.

That was the decision of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday, a decision in response to complaints lodged by Iowa Protein Solutions owner Doug skinner that the odor log was discriminatory and that it singled him out for complaints of odors that may not be coming from the rendering plant in the former Golden Sun building south of Estherville.

“This is really a case of we did something we do not ordinarily do,” said Bev Juhl, board chair, adding that the county zoning administrator should handle complaints.

The rest of the board agreed.

Supervisor Jon Martyr said the log as currently used is prejudicial. However, he said the public should still be able to call to lodge zoning-related complaints.

“We’re trying to correct an error that the board of supervisors made,” said Alan Madden, supervisor. “If we do away with the odor log, we’re correcting an error.”

Emmet County Attorney Doug Hansen said he and Juhl had discussed the issue Monday and decided the county would be on more solid ground by changing the way complaints are handled.

“I think it’s very judicious – what you propose,” said Roy Gage who had asked the board to monitor odor complaints last summer. Gage added that he would prefer that the county not change any current zoning laws.

In other business Tuesday, Steve Hallgren of Northwest Iowa Planning and Development met with the board regarding a zoning map update.

Hallgren also asked the board about its satisfaction with the agency handling the county’s zoning adminstration.

Smith said the county’s priority is to move zoning into a different office; however, he said NWIP&D is still “onboard” for zoning administration.

The county engineer’s office is the local point of contact for zoning maters.