COVID-19 News

Polk ES Committee receives CAFO report

Greg Marsten | Staff writer
Stower Trail master plan hearing still coming
BALSAM LAKE – The Polk County Environmental Services Committee met in person on Wednesday, April 15, where among the items they discussed and later took action on included a PowerPoint presentation by county Parks, Recreation and Trails coordinator Ben Elfelt on comments, input, and emails about the Stower Seven Lakes Trail master plan draft.
Elfelt had been planning on arranging a public hearing on the plan, which was originally slated for last month at Unity High School, but the pandemic concerns delayed that until a later date, which has not been set, but will be rescheduled “once conditions improve,” he said.
s. Elfelt said the group would likely be made up of one or two stakeholders from each user group.
Elfelt also noted the progress on establishing a Polk County Trail Advisory Group, which would not just reference the Stower Trail, but for all county trails. Elfelt said the group would likely be made up of one or two stakeholders from each user group.
“The first objectives would be to establish a work plan, mission statement and strategic plan,” Elfelt said.
Zoning and land information director Jason Kjeseth officially delivered the long-awaited delivery of the study group’s so-called Large-Scale Livestock Facility Report, referencing concentrated animal feeding operations, which has been the work product of many county and state people, as well as others.
“The report is now on the home page of the Polk County website,” Kjeseth said, encouraging residents to review the document and the research.
Environmental services director Bob Kazmierski outlined his efforts on the creation of a divisional form of government, which he described as an organizational chart of division departments and staff, allowing for a more streamlined organization, which was displayed.
County forestry director Mark Gossman continued his updates on Polk County’s 15-year forestry comprehensive land-use plan, with a presentation on portions he updated, deleted, changed or made more relevant, as part of an ongoing review continuing each month on the plan, but they took no action.
The committee did enter a closed session to discuss and consider a letter they received regarding a local tourist rooming house, and apparent possible legal action, although details were not available and no action was taken when they returned to open session.

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