Saratoga residents share concerns with DNR over proposed dairy
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
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.
Comments can be sent
until Sept. 21 to Russ Anderson at 3911 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711
or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.