There’s a lot happening about ethanol south of Dundas in Bridgewater Township. The township has a moratorium on, triggered by announcement of an ethanol plant proposal for land along Co. Rd. 8. Despite the moratorium and the ongoing township planning process, the folks of Advanced Bioenergy (763-336-2705, ask for Jim Hamm) are digging a well and doing pumping tests on neighbors’ wells — all without an application submitted to the county and/or township!

Saturday happenings?

This Saturday, there’s a tour arranged of the 50 million gallon ethanol plant at Atwater:

Meet at the Bridgewater Township Town Hall

8:30 a.m. promptly

go by van to Atwater, back by 4:30 p.m.

Week after next, Bridgewater Township is hosting a public meeting on ethanol with an ethanol representative present to answer questions:

Satuday, Nov. 4, 2006
Evening, 7 p.m. ??
Little Prairie Church on Co. Rd. 8

Here’s a Letter to the Editor from the Northfield News about this project:

An ethanol plant update

To the editor:

Here is a short update on the status of the ethanol plant proposed for Bridgewater Township. Thank you to all area residents who have called in their concerns to township supervisors and attended meetings over the past five months.

Advanced BioEnergy presented its plan for a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant at a Bridgewater Township meeting in June. They chose the 220-acre farmsite on Rice County Road 8 due to available natural gas and the railroad. Water usage would be about 1,000 gallons per minute, with cooldown water piped to Wolf Creek. Up to 200 diesel trucks would move in and out on County Road 8 per day. Century farms and a church in Little Prairie Community would be heavily impacted. It would not be a farmer-owned plant.

A petition was circulated, calling for a moratorium on commercial/industrial development so the township could start our own zoning. About 100 signatures were presented to the township clerk. By the end of June, supervisors had hired a consultant and put an interim ordinance in place. Five residents were chosen to review the Rice County Comprehensive Plan and Ordinance on Wednesday nights. Three subcommittees – land use, administrative and ag business) are meeting through Nov. 15. Supervisors may vote in December on whether to proceed with zoning.

Meanwhile, the company continues to survey and drill test wells, in plain sight of “No Ethanol Plant” signs. Worse yet, Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer has made some overtures to get the plant into the Dundas industrial zone … a tug of war over tax dollars we’d not like to see.

Would the Dundas location be a good fit? Mayor Glenn Switzer and city council candidate John Isaacson have stated publicly that they are receptive to the ethanol plant. Mayoral candidate Chad Marks has said “absolutely not.” John Zander and John Cruz, a thoughtful man serving on the Dundas Planning Commission, have said no. If the right folks are elected in November, maybe Dundas will be spared as well.

David Kamis
Bridgewater Township

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