Saratoga residents share concerns with DNR over proposed dairy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Saratoga residents share concerns with DNR over proposed dairy

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SARATOGA (WAOW) -

The Department of Natural Resources is asking for public input for a proposed animal farm in the town of Saratoga. The farm would sit on the boarder of Wood and Adams County. But the whole process has hit a big legal hurdle.

Lots of people in Saratoga don't want a large animal farm anywhere near them.

"The potential issue with water, air quality, water quantity—they affect all of us if there are issues," Rhonda Carrell from Saratoga said.

In June, the Wysocki Family of Companies applied to build a large animal farm, covering several thousand acres. Now, the DNR will study what impact that would have on the environment. The DNR held two meetings in Saratoga to get input from the public.

"The public has to live with whatever is proposed in their area. So it's incumbent upon an agency to ensure that they have an opportunity to give their input so their voice is heard," Russ Anderson from the WI DNR said.

But this whole process has hit a legal hurdle. Earlier this week, the Saratoga town board passed a zoning ordinance, essentially blocking the farm from coming into town. The Wysocki Family of Companies has sued the board—saying their actions aren't legal. Now, that lawsuit is pending.

"It seems to be another step in a mounting series of unlawful action by the town to hinder development of an environmentally sound dairy," Wysocki Family of Companies Co-Owner Jaquie Wille said.

Despite the lawsuit, the DNR still has to move forward with the Wysocki's application to build the farm. And not everyone at this meeting is against it.

"I wish people would open up their eyes, do their research into the whole big picture, rather than just doing the tunnel vision on the farm itself," Wisconsin Rapids resident Steve Abrahamson said.

Because of the pending lawsuit, no one from the Saratoga town board would talk on camera. In the meantime, DNR officials have a few weeks left to collect comments from the public.

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Comments can be sent until Sept. 21 to Russ Anderson at 3911 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711 or sent by email to russell.anderson@wisconsin.gov.

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