The Lake Mills Town Board will speak with its attorney after receiving a counter offer from Daybreak Foods Sept. 19 for the funds earmarked for the reconstruction of Crossman Road. The funds are in exchange for the privilege to put up an over-the-road feed conveyor.
Daybreak offered the board $250,000, which is the number the board said it was looking for at a meeting last week, with the stipulation that if the Town said the conveyor needed to come down without cause the Town would refund Daybreak’s $250,000.
“In the event the privilege would ever be revoked,” said Rick Roedl, capital projects manager at Daybreak Foods. “We would be looking for a full refund of any of the money we provide to be given the privilege. It’s a give and take relationship and we feel to be able to do something with the road is good for the community. Traffic will increase and if we don’t do this conveyor traffic will increase even more.”
Daybreak says they want to go with the conveyor for safety.
“It works to our advantage because it reduces the cost of our operation, but it also keeps traffic off the road and environmentally it’s much better and it’s just a better approach, using technology to do a better thing,” Roedl said.
The conveyor helps with biosecurity on the site.
“The conveyor keeps the feed mill site substantially away from the layer houses and the pullet houses.”
“The only issue I see right now is the State can demand it to be taken down,” Jim Heinz, supervisor said. “If the State demanded it, would the Town still be responsible to pay the $250,000?”
Roedl said if the State would demand the conveyor be taken down Daybreak wouldn’t hold the Town responsible.
“We would need to insert something that would release that pressure,” Hope Oostdik, town chairwoman said. “If we’ve already spent the $250,000 to repair the road where are we going to get the $250,000?”
Roedl said Daybreak isn’t looking for a guarantee.
“We are looking for a reciprocal act in this process.”
He said if Daybreak wasn’t maintaining the conveyor or broke some kind of law the Town wouldn’t be expected to pay Daybreak.
“If we don’t do that properly this wouldn’t apply,” he said.
Town Clerk Robin Untz said the language in the resolution would need to reflect that.
“We are paying for the privilege and if we are going to lose our privilege we would be looking for a refund of that.”
“What if you change the terminology to ‘if it is required to be moved without a reason’ if the new board comes in and just says they don’t want it there,” said Dave Schroeder, supervisor.
Mike Hellekson, who lives near Daybreak, suggested the board consider and scale to the period of time they are paying for the privilege.
“There is still going to be truck traffic, more truck traffic (if the conveyor is taken down,” said Dan Weger. “I don’t understand why anyone would hold the conveyor approval over Daybreak paying for the road. Daybreak should pay for the road because it is Daybreak at the end of the day that is using that road for their purpose. We are using for our purpose and we are paying it. We shouldn’t have to pay for Daybreak.”
“I think scheduling this over a 20-year period is a good suggestion,” Heinz said. “You do have use of it. On year five it’s not really worth $250,000 anymore.”
There is also the possibility the Town could get the 90/10 grant through the State.
“If you get that good for you,” Roedl said. “We wouldn’t expect anything back.”
The grant the Town is looking to apply for has $75 million available, but it covers a lot of options other than just road work.
“I think we need to have our attorney and engineer take a look at this and I’m going to go forward on pursuing the MLS grant,” Oostdik said.
Roedl said the life of their conveyor and new buildings is 50 years.
“That would be our goal too, build that road for 50 years,” Oostdik said.
The community members in attendance are not satisfied with the progress Daybreak has made in the issues they say have ruined their summer.
“No one from the board has ever come out to our property to experience the disasters we’ve been experiencing,” Hellekson said. “We’ve been fighting the (fan) noise issues.”
Hellekson said in his neighbor’s yard the decibel reading is over 100 and in his yard it’s 65.
“You are putting these contingencies in, why can’t we address the noise problem? This is a very real issue for the neighbors. Address it. Make them fulfill their promises.”
Weger said, “We’ve had our summer ruined by those fans pointed directly at our house. We get no response from Daybreak or the board.”
He continued, “I see dollar signs in your eyes for the road. You are going to sell your soul, my soul for that conveyor and that’s BS. No one is listening to the people in the community.”
Board members said Daybreak has addressed the issues of the feathers and noise.
“We at the last board meeting read into the record the noise and acoustical evaluation that was done,” Oostdik said. “In that letter it was addressed the noise level was 45 decibels. I don’t know where you are getting your decibel levels from.”
Hellekson and Weger did not agree the levels are within a normal standard.
The board will discuss the privilege at its next meeting Oct. 6.