Adell residents concerned over co-op dust

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — About ten residents addressed the Board of Trustees at the board’s meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 9. They were concerned about dust in the village that is apparently originating from two businesses in the village.

Complaints were of “bee’s wings” (another term is “red eye”). These are tiny, reddish flakes having nothing to do with insects, but with corn.

When corn kernels are separated from the cob during combining, a thin membrane is still attached to each kernel. During handling, that membrane comes loose. Being very light, the particles become airborne.

(An Internet search on “bee’s wings corn” reveals this to be a problem wherever corn is processed, nation-wide, during the harvest season.)

Present at the meeting were Jerry Leick of the Adell Co-op and Mark Garofalo, owner of Great Lakes Agri Services. Corn is processed at both facilities.

Leick told the board that the co-op had been in the village for nearly a century (they will celebrate their centennial in 2017), and handling corn has not essentially changed in recent years. He acknowledged that bee’s wings did originate from processing corn. While crop yields have been higher the last two years, he didn’t think the increased volume alone was higher enough to cause the problem to be so much worse this year. Several residents said it was bad last year, but agreed this year was the worst they could remember.

Leick did say it has been warmer than usual during last year’s and this year’s harvest.

“I also own a business in town,” said Tim J. Deckert, owner of Adell Auto Body. The bee’s wings, he said, are “ruining my paint jobs.”

Deckert said the bee’s wings had come through exhaust fans at his facility, and settled onto a freshly painted car hood. “On fresh paint, [the bee’s wings] don’t just fall on it, they embed themselves in the paint, because the paint’s so soft yet. We had to sand them out” and repaint the hood, he told the board.

Deckert made the point that, if his company painted a car and paint mist were to fall on nearby cars, “I’d be held accountable, and liable for it.”

Other complaints included bee’s wings settling on laundry hung out to dry, requiring it to be re-washed; getting on carpets and other areas within homes, by being tracked in or coming through the ventilation; and clogging up screens.

There were also complaints of a white dust settling on cars, but it was not sure whether that came from corn processing, or from the whey plant (Milk Specialties).

The flakes also settle on cars parked outside. With just a little moisture, the particles adhere to the car surface and have to be washed off.

Village President Andrew Schmitt pointed out to Leick and Garofalo that both the co-op and Great Lakes Agri Services were operating under conditional use permits. One condition was that each business would not cause dust problems. Schmitt said it would be their responsibility to find a solution to the bee’s wings.

Schmitt told them, “I want to know if you can assure us, before we go through the procedure of shutting you guys down for creating too much dust, that there is a way you can rectify it.” Schmitt said residents expect them to fix the problem. He and other board members emphasized that the board did not want to shut them down.

Leick offered to give the village coupons for free car washes. Residents could request them of the village office.

That offer alleviated problems with dirty cars, but did not address other problems. Trustee Brian Parr said, “I think it’s only fair, if you’re ruining [Adell Auto Body's] paint job, you should be paying for the damage to his vehicle, or at least the manpower to refinish them. That’s fair.”

“Let’s see what we can do to fix this,” said Schmitt.

Other village business

Trustee Jane Schneider is doing research on singer Hildegarde Sell, born in Adell, whose stage name was The Incomparable Hildegarde. The board is considering erecting a sign in her honor and naming a currently nameless street after her. Schneider is looking into sign costs, and what text would be put on the sign.

Rathke said that 257 residents voted at the Adell office, out of 308 who were eligible.

The board unanimously approved:

• A water relief request from Nancy Bunge

• The village’s 2017 budget

• The Adell Fire Dept.’s proposed 2017 budget

• A raise of 39 cents per hour for Clerk/ Treasurer Kelly Rathke

• Raising Shawn Bigelow’s salary by $2.00 per hour

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