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Feedlot expected to be OK'd

An expansion permit for a feedlot a half-mile south of a popular Mooreton, N.D., swimming hole is expected to be approved.

A Department of Health official said Thursday the only thing holding up approval for S&H Custom Feedlot's request is zoning paperwork from the township.

That paperwork is expected to arrive this week, said Mike Berg, environmental engineer in the department's division of water quality. At a public meeting in Mooreton June 24, some residents expressed concerns about the proximity of the feedlot to Mooreton Pond.

Pond caretaker Dave Link is worried the expanded feedlot will create odor and noise, he said at the June meeting. Link declined comment Thursday.

But the Department of Health received just one complaint during its mandatory comment period, Berg said. That complaint was a phone call from a resident concerned about smell.

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Jamie Helgeson of S&H Custom Feedlot said most people's concerns were answered at the public meeting.

After approval is official, Helgeson said he still needs to work out financial details. Work on the expansion will be started this year, but won't be completed until next year, Helgeson said Thursday.

The project will cost nearly $400,000 and will allow for an average of 1,250 feeders, he said. Helgeson expects the feedlot to have less of an odor than the current one because of its design.

"Everything we're doing is designed to eliminate the odors or keep them to a minimum," he said.

The odor of the feedlot will be monitored on a complaint basis, Berg said. If the smell is a nuisance, people can call the Department of Health.

A health official certified in taking odor readings will use a device called a scentometer and take four to six readings in various locations, Berg said. If the feedlot is found in violation, the department will work with them until they're compliant.

The feedlot will be inspected a minimum of once a year.

Based on experience with the feedlot, the Department of Health had no reason to deny the expansion, Berg said.

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"It meets or exceeds all our state and local laws," he said. "We haven't had any concerns or violations in the past with this facility."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

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