Following a recommendation by the Plan Commission Sept. 3 the Lake Mills Town Board unanimously approved the under-the-road permits for Daybreak Foods, but not the privilege for the overhead feed conveyor at a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10.

“I don’t think we are going to be able to come to an agreement on this tonight,” said Hope Oostdik, town chair, after some back and forth about what Daybreak is willing to pay to reconstruct Crossman Road after the project is done.

The under the ground permits are for water, wastewater and communication lines under Crossman Road. The over the road feed conveyor to take feed from the feed mill to the layer houses was not yet approved and will be looked at again by the board next week.

The over the road conveyor would be about 35 feet off the ground, constructed on towers on each side of the road.

Rick Roedl, capital projects manager at Daybreak Foods said other options considered besides the feed conveyor were trucking, which would go on continuously, seven days a week or under the road which would create larger structures on each side of the road and noise issues.

“That’s why we’ve gone down the avenue of the over the road conveyor,” he said. “This has always been in our plan.”

He said the decibel level of the conveyor would be less than 50 decibels.

“Forty decibels is a library, 45 decibels is your refrigerator in your kitchen,” he told the board.

The conveyor will typically run from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and occasionally on the weekend.

“We feel this will blend in with the agricultural landscape you are seeing in so many parts of Wisconsin.”

Roedl said Daybreak will make a commitment to the township for the reconstruction of Crossman Road as well as do any bonding the township would want.

“Many of the citizens have had challenges along the way with Creekwood and with Daybreak. We’ve all grown up around it and know things need to get better. Daybreak’s commitment started several years ago, was to drastically change that site and drastically change the perception of that site,” he said. “We will be the best neighbors on the block. I will continue to say that.”

He said they are building an operation that is second to none in the world.

“This is not being done anywhere in the world the way we are doing it…We want to be something the township and residents can be proud of,” he said. “We would like to think the revenue and the jobs we will bring will be really important to the community.”

“Permits for utility crossings under roads are common,” said Cory Horton, town engineer.

A bond for $10,000 was recommended by Horton in case of damage to the road.

“The state statutes for an above ground over the road facility like this, there are a lot more details about what can and can’t happen. This is a privilege, it’s not an obligation for the town to pass this,” he said.

A privilege can be revoked with a 10-day notice to Daybreak.

Daybreak offered to pay $50,000 a year for three years or $150,000 for roadwork on Crossman Road after their construction project is finished.

Supervisor Jim Heinz said he wants Daybreak to pay $300,000 for the reconstruction.

“That takes us from A to your property, a little extra for inflation and engineering costs,” he said.

Roedl said road widening would be beneficial for truck traffic.

“Crossman Road is not our worst road, but it’s not our best road,” Oostdik said.

“Having that 24 feet of pavement plus the additional six feet of shoulder gives you space that can help make this a much safer situation,” Horton said.

Oostdik said Daybreak and the town should split the engineering cost prior to the road reconstruction.

Oostdik mentioned a grant from the Wisconsin Towns Association that would fund 90% of the project leaving the town and Daybreak to fund the last 10%.

“Jim had made it clear he wants more money, I want more money,” she said.

“Daybreak’s position is we are making a big investment already,” Roedl said. “Some of that is going to come back to you through taxes…Our budget isn’t unlimited either.”

He also said, Daybreak would pay for any turn lanes into its driveways.

Horton cautioned board members to not rely on grants.

“Grant funding is limited,” he said.

Heinz told Roedl he would accept a $250,000 commitment from Daybreak for the roadwork on Crossman Road.

“Let’s rework the resolution and make that available on our website,” Oostdik said.

The board heard a report on the fan noise neighbors have complained about over the past several months at the Daybreak site.

According to the report commissioned by Daybreak the decibel level at the site is at most 42-45 decibels. Nothing over 45 decibels is considered a nuisance according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The board will look at the resolution again at a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 a.m. at the Town Hall.

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