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Dunn Co. reverses approval of water treatment plant, aligning with Killdeer

MANNING -- Dunn County commissioners reversed their approval of a wastewater treatment facility Tuesday night after meeting with Killdeer city commissioners, who had denied the same application.

0 Talk about it

The meeting, at the Dunn County Courthouse in Manning, was set after the city reached out to the county with its concerns and reasons for denying. Part of the land involved lies in a strip of land under “joint jurisdiction” between the city and county.

Deon Stockert with Grand Forks engineering company AE2S, who the city consulted on the project, outlined some of the main concerns the city had with the project -- a 24-point list in total.

But namely, the issue was the location.

The facility would be in land that the city sees future growth in, and so city commissioners are worried about the effect odors from the plant would have on people wanting to live there.

County commissioner Donna Scott said the commission was told there wouldn’t be any odors from the operations, but Stockert squashed that and said even a health department official said there’d likely be odor with the size the facility would’ve been -- especially with the product brought in before it is treated.

“Location is a big, big factor … in relation to our wellhead protection with the aquifer and everything right above it, or below it, I mean, that’s a big concern,” Killdeer Mayor Dan Dolechek said.

No representatives from BG Assets, which owns the land, spoke at the meeting.

“That’s really the big issue,” City Commissioner Anita Mjolhus said. “… They haven't said exactly what chemicals they’re using … what’s the impact gonna be.”

County commissioners considered sending the application back to its zoning board re-evaluate to proposal, but instead denied the application outright because not much -- like the location -- could be changed.

If the city and county had not reached some sort of agreement Tuesday, the dispute would’ve gone to a mediator with representatives from both sides, as well as from the governor’s office, attorney Ari Johnson said at the meeting.

“As a person that is on our zoning board and as a county commissioner, I feel like we’ve got a really good working relationship with the city,” Scott said, “and I want to make sure that that continues.”

After the meeting, Dolechek said holding the meeting was worth it.

“It sounds like it’s a done deal,” he said. “It’s not gonna happen.”