Moratorium sought on sewage dumping in Cass
WALKER - Roads and sewage brought several Cass County residents to the county board meeting Tuesday.
Terry Nagorski contacted Administrator Robert Yochum June 30 to express concerns he and his neighbors in Trelipe Township have about sewage pumped from septic systems being spread on vacant land near their homes.
Since then, Yochum and Commissioner Jeff Peterson have met with the concerned neighbors at a Trelipe Town Board meeting. The neighbors have submitted petitions to the board, calling for a moratorium on dumping residential waste within a quarter mile of residences.
Tuesday, Dennis Lilyquist spoke for half a dozen of those neighbors who came to the county board meeting. He said he has owned his property since the 1970s.
Neighbors are objecting to both the pumpers' truck traffic to the site and to the smell from the sewage being dumped.
They also have concerns about the volume being dumped and potential pollution. Specifically, Nagorski's attorney, John C. Kolby, notes in a letter to the county board concerns over the lack of monitoring for the amount of nitrogen collecting in there at the high volume of septage they say is being applied to the soil.
Owner of the property where the sewage is being dumped, located at 2600 46th St. NE, Longville, is Dennis Lilyquist's relative, Rusty Lilyquist.
Northland Septic has a valid county permit to dump sewage pumped from private sewer systems for the site.
Yochum said there are about 45 sites in Cass where sewage pumping firms have county permits to spread sewage on the land. Any moratorium would affect sites throughout the county, he said.
Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk expressed concern that pumping firms would not have anywhere to dump sewage, countering the county's position to support regular pumping to maintain well-functioning private systems.
Board Chair Bob Kangas said he has heard there is a movement in the state to require all pumped sewage to be disposed in municipal sewer systems. This ultimately would resolve the issue, he said.
For the immediate problem and in response to the Trelipe neighbors' call for a county ordinance amendment, the board followed its procedure for amending ordinances and referred the request to the planning commission to consider first.
Doug Carpenter brought the other citizen issue to the board Tuesday.
He had approached the board in July, calling for a survey of the road abutting property he owns near Bena. The board denied that request.
Tuesday, he asked the board's permission for an ingress/egress to his property, maintenance of the road so it is passable year-round by Aug. 15 and for a turnaround to accommodate his trailer and motor home.
Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson provided copies to the board of July 6, 1999, board meeting minutes showing the road, formerly known at County Road 140, as being converted with a couple other roads to an unorganized town road.
County Engineer David Enblom said the county has an application process through his office to issue permits to landowners for ingress-egress to their property. He made arrangements to meet with Carpenter to help him apply.
Carpenter objected to the fact the county does not maintain the road for winter access beyond the point where homes and a resort are located. He said the unorganized township could lose its share of township gas tax for that portion of the road, because of that.
Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe said that loss would amount to $36 per year.