Vote for center set for Nov. 4 By April Baumgarten Hazen may expand its limits to include a proposed agronomy center, which could generate the taxes needed to maintain roads, city commissioners said Monday. President Mark Nygard reported on a recent Hazen Planning and Zoning Board meeting for Enerbase Agronomy. The Washburn-based company proposed to build an agronomy center east of the closed Hazen Elevator. The nine-acre plot would include a 60,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia tank. The board passed a conditional-use permit and zoning change from agriculture to industrial 3-2. The meeting attracted more than 50 supporters and opponents. Some residents voiced concerns for safety and traffic issues, including who would be responsible for maintaining the road for Enerbase’s traffic. “We have to remember that we have reduced the grain traffic,” Commissioner Jerry Obenauer Jr. said. “Farmers aren’t using the grain elevator anymore. The traffic with grain trucks is supposed to be heavier than the anhydrous traffic.” The company was open to allowing the city to annex the land into the city but hasn’t sent in a formal request, Nygard said. “I think they will probably be more than willing to pursue that,” he said. “If they agree to a voluntary annexation the process is simple.”
Rezoning, permit approved for anhydrous tank By April Baumgarten Farmers may be in trouble next year if Hazen doesn’t approve plans for an anhydrous tank near Riverside Park, officials said. But residents echoed one phrase last week at City Hall: Not in my backyard. “I find it very disrespectful that anyone would even consider building a plant of hazardous material in my backyard, in somebody’s backyard,” Mel Gutknecht said. “I have a lot of friends that are farmers and I am not in opposition (of the center). I am in opposition of the location.” More than 50 residents attended the Hazen Planning and Zoning meeting Oct. 16. Proponents and opponents spoke for two hours on Enerbase Agronomy’s requests to build an agronomy center. The board voted 3-2 to change nine acres of land east of the Hazen Elevator from agricultural to industrial. “We have a tendency to want to have a perfect world,” board member Clayton Hoffman said. “We look at what the ag community has done for this area. The elevator is gone. We need to support this community of farmers in the best way possible.”
The Hazen City Commission is one step closer to deciding whether it should allow residents to hookup to outside water sources. Commissioners discussed a policy Monday during a meeting at Hazen City Hall that could require residents who wish to connect to rural water pay a fee to the city. The government would also be able to assess costs for projects even if the landowner does not connect to city water.
By Chris Erickson After months of discussions and rewrites, a contentious policy will have to go back to the drawing board after a motion for its approval failed last week. The Mercer County Commission voted 2-2 on the no-use policy after Commissioner Gary Murray and Commission Chairman Frank Bitterman had motioned to adopt it during last Wednesday’s meeting. Commisioners Duane Scheurer and Wayne Entze voted against adopting the policy. Commissioner Bill Tveit was not present.