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Council adopts ordinance concerning manure

FAIRMONT– In a brisk special meeting on Friday, the Fairmont City Council unanimously passed an ordinance regulating the discharge of manure within city limits.

Back in June, following the complaints of several residents about odor near their homes on the north end of Fairmont, the council adopted an emergency interim ordinance placing a moratorium on the spreading of manure within city limits. At that time staff was directed to study a permanent update to ordinances.

In updating the ordinance, staff had conversations with not only local residents, but the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as well as area farmers and owners of farmland within city limits in order to gather information about responsible practices when spreading manure.

The emergency interim ordinance was set to expire Oct. 1. On Monday this week, a public hearing was held during the regular city council meeting. At that time, several residents spoke out in favor of adopting the ordinance.

As drafted, the ordinance amends the city’s nuisance codes to do three basic things. It prohibits manure from being discharged in land zoned for residential or business use; allows manure to be spread on agricultural and industrial land that is 200 ft. away from the boundary of residential and business zones; requires manure be incorporated into the soil immediately following discharge.

On Monday the council approved a motion to hold a special meeting on Friday for the second reading of the ordinance. Council members Bruce Peters and Britney Kawecki were absent for Friday’s meeting and the ordinance passed unanimously.

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