Letter: County Board Inaction on Saratoga Dairy Puzzling
To the Editor-
For several years I’ve been watching the public, and very political, discussion swirl over building of the Golden Sands Dairy in Saratoga. Residents, fearing an ecological disaster, have been lobbying the county board to do something- anything- to protect South Wood County’s fragile soils, shallow aquifer and damaged economy.
I’m puzzled by the county board’s inaction and the residents’ patience.
Years ago NBC news reporters a dangerous blue-green algae problem in Lake Petenwell, and on Sept. 16, Gannett newspapers reported 77 ppm nitrates- nearly eight times the safe level- in a monitoring well at the Central Sands Dairy in nearby Armenia.
Don’t all parties read the newspaper? In Dane County, the lakes creating the isthmus upon which our capital sits have experienced similar blue-green algae blooms. Wisconsin couldn’t very well have tourists see and smell the pollution; so the Dane Co. Board too action. They sponsored the building of two digesters in the towns of Springfield and Vienna. The digesters could remove at least a part of the lake-fouling phosphorus from liquid manure.
The Dane Co. Board set aside $500,000 in both the ’14 and ’15 budget years. Not everything has gone well; the Vienna digester has been plagued by spills and the cost is high (annual operating cost of about $290,000), but at least Dane Co. is doing something.
Wood County, on the other hand, has done nothing proactively. Why are the so parochial and closed-minded?If large CADO’s, with all their potential for environmental issues, come to Wood County, don’t county leaders realize they could be exposed, petitioned or even sued for their inaction?
Wake up! Study the issues; write groundwater protection ordinances; partner with neighboring counties regionally; listen to and protect your residents.
You are an embarrassment!
Town of Saratoga