Bradford nears vote on center pivot manure sprayers
IF YOU GO
What: Bradford Town Board meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 21.
Where: Bradford Town Hall, at the intersection of Carvers Rock Road and Bradford Town Hall Road.
On the agenda: The town could adopt an ordinance regulating the use of center-pivot manure sprayers
BRADFORD TOWNSHIP The town of Bradford is one vote away from becoming the next Rock County municipality to regulate the use of center-pivot manure sprayers, although no such pivots are proposed at this time.
The Bradford Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday hosted a public hearing as the town considers changing an ordinance that would make operators get conditional-use permits before using the sprayers in the township.
“My intent is not to ban them (center pivots) or ban the application of manure though them,” committee Chairman Leland Peich said. “But I think it’s something the township needs to have their thumb on as time goes on.”
The debate about the pivots in Bradford and other rural communities was sparked by the Rock Prairie Dairy, a 5,200-cow dairy under construction on Highway 14 at Scharine Road in Bradford Township. At one time, the dairy proposed using the pivots as one way to empty its manure-storage lagoons.
The pivots have been pulled from the plans so the farm can consider, among other things, a memo from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services about airborne manure application.
The town of Harmony has banned the pivots, and the town of Johnstown has created a conditional-use permit requirement
In Bradford, the ordinance change would not put conditions on any particular operator but would give the town the right to do so, town board Chairman Ron Duffy said Monday night from the audience.
“We’re not saying how or being very specific,” Duffy said. “Those things would have to come into play another day.”
Bradford resident Tammy Van Pamel asked who would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance. Doing so in Bradford could take a lot of time, she said.
“It seems that you good people that are trying to do this are going to have to do it full-time,” she said.
Bradford resident Richard Alwin said the ordinance is a tool to maintain local, rather than state, control in the community.
“It’s a step in the right direction toward what the residents want,” he said.
Rock Prairie Dairy attorney Anna Wildeman said the town is rushing needlessly into regulating center pivots.
“My client is not going to be applying any manure until the fall of 2012,” Wildeman said. “The town has plenty of time to work something out.”