Waldo residents comment on proposed propane facility

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

WALDO — At the Village Board meeting Monday night, several residents commented on a propane storage facility being considered for the north side of the village.

Village President Dan Schneider had announced at the board’s September meeting that the village had been approached by Ferrellgas to discuss a storage facility south of Sixth Street, east of the railroad tracks. Two weeks later, the village held an informational meeting, where Jason Cullen, director of real estate and office services at Ferrellgas, gave a presentation on the proposed project.

The board anticipated numerous comments at Monday night’s meeting, and a discussion/action item on the agenda was to possibly put some limits on length of comments. That proved unnecessary, as fewer than 10 people were in the audience.

“I don’t foresee a significant safety issue,” Waldo Fire Department Chief Jason Parish told the board. He said he talked with firefighters in a northern Wisconsin community where a facility with six tanks has been in operation for two years and they didn’t have any outstanding safety concerns.

Trustee Mike Hintz said he’d been contacted by a resident living near the proposed plant, expressing concerns for safety. Hintz told the board that “I met with him, and showed him the safety features of a larger facility, and it really brought him at ease. I would open it up to anybody that wants to give me a call,” he said, and he would talk with or meet with anyone having concerns.

Jason Cullen of Ferrellgas was in the audience. He addressed several comments. A 10- or 12-foot wall surrounding the facility, he said, was planned mainly for esthetics.

“I encourage people to talk to the trustees, to talk to me,” said Schneider. “Of the dozen or so people that talked to me, it was all favorable comments. One individual had concerns about safety. But not to the point where that would be an issue.”

Other village business

Trick or Treating in Waldo will be Saturday,

Oct. 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be a village party at Memorial Hall that evening from 7 to 9 p.m. The village received some anonymous donations to cover the cost of the party, and no admission will be charged. The board voted unanimously to approve the two events.

The board unanimously approved three applications for operator’s licenses, all new employees at Kvindlog Services.

The board reviewed a draft of the 2017 budget. A public hearing will be held on Monday, Nov. 14 to allow residents to give input on the budget. The regular village board meeting will follow.

The board continues to pursue setting up signs forbidding air-braking. Director of Public Works Bruce Neerhof said he can contact the Dept. of Transportation on what is required of the village to erect those signs. “Let’s go down that road,” said Schneider. “Let’s make it happen.”

Police report for September: Three warnings and two complaints investigated (animal complaint and assistance to a motorist).

Comments from Ferrellgas rep

Following the board meeting, Jason Cullen of Ferrellgas answered a few questions for The Review.

Cullen said citizen response at the Sept. 29 informational meeting was “pretty positive.” He said there were some homeowners in the area of the proposed storage facility. “We addressed their concerns by telling them there would be no traffic through that area. We also addressed their concerns about how it will look.” He said a wall will be built around the facility.

Cullen told The Review, “This is not going to be a retail site, so we want to be as unobtrusive as possible. The less traffic we get in there, the better, for us. We want to be good community stewards. If we’re not, it’s bad for business and ethically, it’s just not right.”

Cullen said that employees of Ferrellgas live and work in the area communities.

The current plan calls for installing six propane tanks, but another six could be added in the future.

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