Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 28, 2004

Hutchinson to temporarily stop unloading yard waste in Hollywood

By Lynda Jensen

The sight of semi trucks from Hutchinson unloading yard waste in Hollywood Township will cease – at least for the time being – while township, county and state officials sort out issues related to the operation.

The yard waste, about 100 loads so far, has been trucked from Hutchinson to Borchart’s Steel in Hollywood Township since April, according to Steve Madson of Creekside Soils, a compost processing company owned by the City of Hutchinson.

The waste originates from the City of Minneapolis, which has a contract with Creekside for compost services, he said.

Some Hollywood Township residents complained of the operation at the June township meeting.

It was also noted recently that Creekside didn’t have a permit to unload the yard waste in the first place, said Hollywood Township Clerk Sherm Steffenson.

“They got the cart before the horse,” Steffenson said.

“We thought it was an already permitted process,” Madson said. As time went on, it was noted that there is a permit required for yard waste, he said.

“It was deemed an honest mistake,” commented Steve Just, deputy planning director of Carver County planning and zoning.

It is uncertain if Creekside will continue unloading compost, since Madson claimed that “no more loads are scheduled.”

The Hollywood site was merely a temporary holding area, Madson said.

However, there is a meeting scheduled between state and township officials that indicates the issue is still active – and Jim Borchart, who owns Borchart’s Steel, has an active conditional use permit application in progress at the county level, Just confirmed at the planning and zoning office.

A county public hearing was scheduled in May, and then continued until June 15.

Currently, the issue is at a standstill since the county ordered Creekside to stop unloading the compost until issues could be worked out with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

MnDOT is concerned about road access from Highway 7, Just said.

“It doesn’t look like the DOT is going to approve access,” he said. “The big stickler is access off the highway.”

If so, Creekside will depend on the approval of Hollywood Township to allow the use of a non-surface township road to continue its unloading, Just said.

If the township denies use of a gravel road, it will end the whole operation, Just said.

It is possible that an arrangement could be made to contribute toward road improvements, Just said.

The county is taking a wait-and-see approach while the state and township iron out access issues, Just said.

The compost is made up of leaves, tree trimmings, and grass clippings, Madson said.

It is bagged, however, Madson noted. “When people go by, they might think it’s garbage. It’s definitely not garbage.”

The location at Borchart’s isn’t near houses. Borchart’s is located south of Highway 7, and one mile east Carver County Road 33.

Creekside initially wished to haul up to 40 loads per day of the compost, Just said. However, this was scaled back to an average of seven loads per day, seven days per week, he said.

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