October 23, 2013

City may annex Enerbase facility

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.”

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