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Bradford Town Board tables pivot ordinance

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ANN MARIE AMES
June 22, 2011
— The Bradford Town Board needs clarification: Is it manure with water in it or water with manure in it?

The town board Tuesday tabled creation of an ordinance that would regulate the use of center-pivot sprayers to apply watered-down manure to growing crops. The board wants the town’s attorney to clarify what type of liquid the town would be regulating.


The ordinance would require an operator to get a conditional-use permit to pump untreated wastewater from storage lagoons onto growing crops. No such spraying system is proposed in Rock or Walworth counties, although one was previously part of operating applications for the Rock Prairie Dairy, a 5,200-cow facility under construction on Highway 14 in Bradford Township in far eastern Rock County.


Dairy owner Todd Tuls of Columbus, Neb., could apply for the pivots in the future, officials have said.


Some Bradford Town Board members were concerned that it was inaccurate to regulate spraying of liquid manure, since what comes out of the lagoon would be watered down to the point that it would be less than 2 percent solids, board Chairman Ron Duffy said.


Board member Bob Broege thought the word “manure” should be removed from the draft ordinance.


“‘Manure’ stands out,” Broege said. “I don’t think it should be on there.”


The nearby town of Harmony has banned center pivots. The town of Johnstown has voted to regulate them.


In Walworth County, where towns do not have zoning authority, the town of Richmond has asked the county zoning agency to consider banning or regulating pivots.


Tuls uses center pivots as one way to empty manure-storage lagoons on his two Nebraska dairies, where he milks about 10,000 cows. Some say the pivots create strong odors and public health risks; others say the pivots allow for efficient nutrient application.


The board could take up the issue at its next town board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Bradford Town Hall.


Shady Hills topic of hearing

The town of Bradford and Rock County are considering revoking owner David Merriam’s license to operate Shady Hills Mobile Home Park on Creek Road at Highway 140 three miles north of the village of Clinton.


The town will host a public hearing on the matter following a town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 18, at the town hall. The town’s building inspector has recommended revocation based on the lack of space for emergency vehicle access and the debilitated state of some of the mobile homes, according to town documents.


The county has ordered Merriam to repair roads, secure manholes and clear trash, health department documents state.



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