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Town wants more time to review dairy plan

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 18, 2011
— The town of Bradford plans to ask for an extension before taking action on an application for a 5,200-cow dairy farm.

The Bradford Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday recommended the town ask Nebraska dairy farmer Todd Tuls to agree to an extension of the town's deadline in taking action on Tuls' conditional-use permit for the facility.


The town board could vote on the recommendation tonight, Chairman Ron Duffy said.


The town wants to wait to vote on the application until the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources certifies two documents that are part of Tuls' applications, Duffy said. One is the department's environmental assessment, and the other is the site plan for the project, Duffy said.


The town's current deadline to approve the conditional-use permit is Feb. 8. Tuls was at the meeting and did not say anything that led Duffy to think he wouldn't agree to the extension.


Tuls has applied for a conditional-use permit from the town to operate a dairy on a 160-acre parcel at Highway 14 and Scharine Road. The farm would be the largest livestock production facility—dairy or otherwise—in Rock or Walworth counties.


Tuls, who lives in Columbus, Neb., operates two similarly sized dairies 30 miles from his home.


Certifying the environmental analysis and site plan doesn't mean the DNR has approved the proposed Rock Prairie Dairy, Duffy said. Tuls must get approval on a long list of local, state and county permits.


One of the most complex is the state's wastewater discharge permit, which would act as Tuls' operating permit. If the DNR certifies the site plan and the environmental assessment, "it's "pretty much a guarantee that the (wastewater) permit will be issued," Duffy said.


The DNR is accepting public comment on the environmental analysis until Feb. 4. The public can view the document at dnr.wi.gov.

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