Two members of the Lake Mills Town Board were present for a discussion only special meeting of the board on the over the road conveyor for Daybreak Foods Monday.
“This meeting was posted last Friday. I did not give permission for the posting of this meeting,” said Hope Oostdik. “I had intended today to meet as a town chairman will with a contractor or a petitioner in the Town of Lake Mills to discuss the timeline and perhaps any action that needs to be taken before this meeting would come before a regularly posted meeting of the town.”
Oostdik told the audience she and Rick Roedl, capital projects manager, Daybreak Foods have met before individually and with the former town clerk to go over the timeline of the projects.
“I do feel when it is prudent in an emergency situation to call a special meeting of the town board. I did not feel our conversation instituted an emergency,” she continued.
She said she felt the timeline could be worked out individually with Roedl.
“We’ve been working very openly with Daybreak Foods and we will continue to do so until the conclusion of their project and then afterwards in partnership because they will be here for a long time.”
Roedl discussed the status of the project at Daybreak’s facility on Crossman Rd. in the Town of Lake Mills.
“What triggered this meeting was one of my contractors contacting Dave Schroeder, (supervisor) relative to work in the right of way area on Crossman Road,” Roedl said. “The concern was relative to the easements we will be applying for, which will be to the township this week.”
He said he is hoping there could be some action on the easements from the board by next month.
For Daybreak there are two pieces to the puzzle for their easement application. They are applying for an easement for the over the road conveyor and an underground pipe.
“The overhead conveyor goes from the feed mill site on the west side of the road to the layer site on the east side of the road. There is also an underground piece, which is a pipeline that goes from the new processing plant on the east side of Crossman Road and goes to the wastewater lagoons at the current processing plant,” Roedl said.
He stressed no work will be done in the right of way before the company has its easements in hand.
“We would never do that,” he said. “Anything we are doing is well out of the right of way until we have a full agreement in place with the town.”
Daybreak plans to continue to work with its neighbors to make sure everything is as comfortable as possible for them with the new site.
Roedl plans to have their contractors do a mock-up of what the over the road conveyor would look like for the board.
“What’s under the road is a black pipe, but what’s over the road obviously is something bigger,” Roedl said. “We could do it off to the side of the road to give you an idea of what this thing would look like.”
He said their goal is for the conveyor not to be noticeable.
“We don’t want something ugly up there. If you don’t really see it that’s a good thing.”
Roedl discussed a recent complaint they received about fan noise.
“We want to be as transparent as transparent can be,” he said.
A neighbor to the north of the facility reached out to Roedl about increasingly loud fan noises.
“They asked if there was anything we can do. I like to think there is always something we can do.”
Roedl says the company employed an acoustic engineer to study the noise level coming from the facility.
“He said there is noise, but it doesn’t rate to a nuisance level.”
Daybreak hired the engineer to do a full study to look at decibel levels, barometric pressure, wind, temperature and more.
“This can help us understand if there is an issue and how we fix the issue.”
Roedl said the company would need to put something up to absorb the sound.
“Sound may not go through that hard surface, but it will bounce off and go a different direction. Sound goes both ways, it’s energy, you have to absorb that sound if you want to stop it.”
This is the first time Daybreak has ever dealt with a sound issue.
“We don’t want to fix one issue of odor and create another issue of sound, but the two are not connected at all.”
Supervisor Dave Schroeder said the sound varies a lot.
“I do agree something has to be done, because it does get quite annoying,” he said. “It varies a lot. Last night it was very quiet. It varies with wind direction, temperature outside and the size of your birds, because the bigger the birds, the warmer the temperature the more noise it makes.”
Board members said one easement for both the overhead conveyor and the underground project would be sufficient for the project.
Oostdik asked if Daybreak could put together the prototype of the overhead conveyor before the July meetings of the Plan Commission and the Town Board and Roedl agreed.
“My preferred timeline is in the next 60 days to do the underground and in the next 90 to 120 days to do the overhead,” Roedl said.
They hope to be starting up the mill in the fall.
Much of the construction work is already complete at the pullet barns. One of the barns is already populated and another will be populated in July. The bio secure building is nearly complete.
Of the manure barn Roedl said the dryer is working great.
“You can be in the manure barn and you don’t smell manure. We are getting eight percent moisture in that manure and we were hoping for 15% to 20%.”
The cost of having that dryer manure is the sound of the fans.
“We are doing a lot to mitigate that,” he said.
The easement will go to the Town’s attorney.
“There will be a pretty restrictive agreement,” Schroeder said. “We don’t want the town to accept responsibility.”
“In my research over the past two years I don’t know of a conveyor that has been run over a township, city or village road,” Oostdik commented.
“It’s common in the Northeast,” Schroeder said.
Issues like maintenance and responsibility will be addressed in the agreement with the township, Roedl said.
“This will be a public document,” Oosdik said. “There will be a public hearing on this later on. We will just need to establish a timeline to do this. We will have legal help to make the best decision for the town and our health and wellbeing.”