Cass County Supervisors approve rezoning despite concerns


February 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Despite one area residents’ concerns the City of Atlantic’s well water might be contaminated with oil, the Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved the rezoning of a small section of  land just outside of the Atlantic City limits, from General Agricultural, to light industrial. John Dvorak made the request to the County’s Zoning Commission last month, in order to expand his tire repair and automotive service business. The Commission approved the request at its February 9th meeting, and forwarded its recommendation to the Board for final approval.  During a public hearing this morning, Zoning Commissioner Rich Hansen explained where land was located. Hansen says the 4.5-acres of land is near the intersection of Olive Street and Great River Road, near the KJAN studios.

Hansen says Dvorak does not need a DNR permit for waste oil disposal, because there would need to be over 1,300 gallons of it on site in order for a permit to be necessary. Dvorak said during the meeting there wouldn’t be anymore than 160-gallons on-hand at any given time. The oil will not be stored underground. Instead it will be stored in approved plastic “totes.” Used oil and Tires at the facility will be properly disposed of using local sources, so there won’t be the “eyesore” of tires piled-up around the business or on the property. Paul Lundquist said while the business serves a need in the area, and he “salutes” Dvorak’s idea to expand his business, he was concerned about the possible effects of well water contamination. He says the business, while located on high ground, will be located over the only source of water for the City of Atlantic. He wanted the Supervisors to get more data on how any potential pollution created by the business could affect the water.

Hansen said because the property is located south and west of the wells, any drainage would flow to the southwest, away from the wells, which are about 1,000-feet away. Hansen said Cass-Adair-Audubon and Guthrie County Sanitarian Steve Patterson has conducted extensive surveys of the land and the possible effect on the wells, and determined there’s no problem with the drainage, or concerns over contamination. Supervisor Chuck Rieken said that’s good enough for him, because Patterson is well qualified to make that determination. He said Patterson is very strict, and “By the Book,” when it comes to environmental safety, and he would never have  recommended approval to the Zoning Board, the plans if they threatened the water.

The Board then voted 4-to-nothing, with Supervisor Frank Waters absent, to approve the zoning change. Afterward, Lundquist said the Board “Made a mistake,” but thanked them for looking into it.