Kevin Bonham, Forum Communications, Published October 24 2012
Mayville residents suggest co-op expand outside of townMAYVILLE, N.D. - Mayport Farmer’s Co-op Elevator isn’t going anywhere, despite a public campaign urging the business to expand outside of town rather than in downtown Mayville.
“We have no plans of leaving the city of Mayville,” elevator President Richard Moen said.
The comment was in response to a full-page advertisement in Wednesday’s Herald, as well as a half-page ad in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, headlined, “A Wonderful Business Suggestion.”
The ad, which cited ongoing issues with dust, debris and noise since the elevator’s last expansion in 2006, listed 14 reasons a grain elevator facility built at least one mile north of the city would make financial sense for the business.
“The overwhelming majority of our farmer friends are wonderful, reasonable, nice people and great neighbors,” the ad said. “It is a little disappointing that the elevator has not dealt with this dust, debris and noise issue.… This reflects poorly on the good farmers and reputation of the elevator and the co-op in our community.”
The elevator withdrew a building permit application in June for the proposed construction of two new grain silos after a local nonprofit group, the Mayville Clean Air Campaign, threatened to file suit to stop the project, which initially was estimated to take about three months.
This week’s ads were placed at the end of that original three-month period.
“I was kind of hoping they’d put in the dust-control systems they said they were going to do,” said Jeff Bachmeier, a member of the nonprofit. “I think it would be a better situation for everybody, for the city. We shouldn’t have to go through this every time.”
He said the ad was paid by individuals, rather than the organization.
Moen said the elevator has not changed its intention of installing a new dust-collection system. Rather, officials decided in June to redesign such a system, to take into account concerns raised by local residents.
“They brought up some good ideas, so we’re trying to take that into account,” he said. “We knew we weren’t going to get this operational by the harvest of 2012.”
Elevator officials are still waiting for the new set of plans. Once approved, it’ll take about three months for equipment to arrive, which would put construction sometime in 2013.
Still, the group of local residents is hoping company officials will use the time to weigh its suggestion.
“Our facilities are along the railroad track, and that’s where they’re going to stay,” Moen said, however. “Over the years you add on. Yes, it’s gotten bigger and it’s changed. It’s part of the community.”