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Eyota group seeks moratorium on industrial land annexations

By Heather J. Carlson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

EYOTA — A group of residents opposed to a proposed ethanol plant has asked city leaders to impose a one-year moratorium on industrial annexations.

The city council is expected to discuss the proposal at its Thursday night meeting.

MinnErgy has proposed building a $133 million ethanol plant in Eyota Township that would initially produce 55 million gallons of ethanol. The company has said it would like the property to be annexed into the city of Eyota.

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Olmsted County Concerned Citizens sent the city council a letter on Oct. 17 written by member Tom Dornack. The letter asks the council to impose the moratorium to allow the city’s task force enough time to study the plant and receive all the information from the plant’s environmental assessment review.

Mayor Wes Busselll said Tuesday he does not support a moratorium.

"I can’t justify a moratorium. That is not what we told the business we would do," he said.

Earlier this month, the city council rejected a request by MinnErgy to begin annexation talks with Eyota Township. The problem centered around the company’s oddly-shaped annexation request.

Ron Scherbring, MinnErgy’s CEO, says the company plans to address the city’s concerns and present a new annexation plan that encompasses about 300 acres. Earlier this week, Eyota Township board members told MinnErgy they were willing to talk with the city about the new annexation plan.

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