CRAWFORD COUNTY - At their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors voted 9-6 to table a vote on extension of the CAFO Moratorium. The moratorium was enacted by the board in December of 2019, and contained a provision allowing it to be extended for up to one year. As a result of the board’s decision to table, the moratorium will expire on December 31, 2020.
The decision to table enjoyed only a small amount of discussion prior to the vote. No public input was allowed by the 56 citizens watching the proceedings via Zoom, though many were seen to be holding up signs saying, “Extend the Moratorium.”
County Board Chairman Tom Cornford asked Land Conservation Committee Chairman Dave Olson whether or not his committee had voted not to recommend an extension to the Board of Supervisors, and why.
This was a facile question, as Cornford had uncharacteristically attended the committee meeting the day the vote in question was taken, and he cast the vote that prevented a 2-2 tie. Cornford, Dave Olson and Kim Moret voted against, and Wade Dull and Bob Standorf voted for recommending an extension.
“Yes, that’s correct, we voted against recommending an extension,” Olson said. “Our committee does not want to be on record as being against farming.”
Supervisor Mary Kuhn spoke, and said that if the board voted on whether or not to extend the moratorium, they would be setting a bad precedent where the board could overrule a committee decision.
County corporate counsel Mark Peterson disagreed with Kuhn on this particular instance.
“The moratorium is unique in that it was originally enacted by the board, and contained a provision in it allowing for up to a one year extension,” Peterson explained.
Kuhn said “through all of this, when a resolution was being circulated to town and village boards calling for us to extend the moratorium, Marietta Township refused to sign it.”
Supervisor Dave Olson maintained his often expressed opinion that the situation is really “a Marietta Township problem” and should not have been taken up at the county level.
“Marietta Township doesn’t have the backbone to deal with this situation,” Olson said. “Since this whole thing got started, their board hasn’t looked at any land use ordinances.”
Supervisor Don Stirling raised the point that the board still doesn’t understand what the impacts of a CAFO spreading 10 million gallons of liquid manure in that part of the county will be.
Supervisor Mary Kuhn rebuked Stirling, saying “we can’t make this about just one farmer.”
At the end of the discussion, Dave Olson moved to table action on the agenda item, with Mary Kuhn seconding. An initial voice vote moved Chairman Cornford to call for a roll call vote.The motion to table passed 9-6, with two supervisors absent. Voting to table a vote were Supervisors Cornford, Flansburgh, Krachey, Kuhn, Lorenz, Olson, Orr, Russell, and Steiner; voting against tabling a vote were Supervisors Jerrett, Kelley, Kozelka, Munson, Rogers, and Stirling.