February 22, 2017

County Commission debates Strata permit

By Daniel Arens

Although many stockpile permits are routine, provided the proper protections for neighboring landowners are in place, a request from Strata Corporation generated a high degree of controversy.
Strata is hoping to reopen a stockpile and gravel pit east of Stanton. The company again has an agreement with Gerald Alderin, the owner of the land where the stockpile is located.
Colette Schilling, Mercer County Land Use Administrator, approached the Mercer County Commission with the request for reopening the stockpile, which operated for years in the past. She reported to the commission that the company does not have a road agreement with the county road department.
Shortly after Schilling began to speak, Nick Swenson, representing Strata, walked into the meeting. The commission had asked that someone from Strata be present to discuss the request in person at the meeting.
Dwight Berger, Mercer County Commissioner, owns land bordering the stockpile site. He spoke out in opposition to the permit, saying that the site was not managed properly and was kept open long after the time which its original permit allowed for.
“I have a lot of problems with this,” Berger said. “[Strata] came in last year without a permit, opened it up, no permits till after I pushed this. It’s been open for 10 years.” He added that the pit was open throughout those years, with dust being blown into his property and across the driveway.

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