Saratoga Residents Share Their Concerns Over Proposed CAFO With DNR

The only thing standing in the way of a proposed 6,000 plus acre dairy in the Town of Saratoga is the DNR's approval and a bunch of angry locals. Thursday night those locals were doing everything they could to make sure nothing gets overlooked in the DNR's environmental inspection.

So far, the DNR says Wysocki Farms has been more than willing to work with them, providing information on the possible effects the dairy farm could have on the environment and personal health.

But locals still have questions, especially when it comes to the water they drink.

"My question is what the real impact is going to be of 49 high capacity wells for our water supply? Because when you live in the country and all the water you have comes out of one little well, when they take it your done," Pam Johnson of Saratoga told NewsChannel 7.

Other popular concerns include the spreading of manure, pesticides and the effect that will have on property values.

Wysocki Farms tried to lay these concerns to rest at a town meeting back in July, but locals say all they really did was beat around the bush.

A lot has happened since that meeting. We now know the Saratoga Town Board passed a unanimous vote right before that meeting to stop building permits on land larger than once acre. Essentially, putting the Wysocki Family's Golden Sands Dairy Project on hold.

The Wysocki family responded by filing suit. First, they filed a civil suit against the town's building inspector who refused to issue a building permit, then against the town and its board members. Wysocki said the town's refusal to issue building permits was directly aimed at stopping construction of their dairy. An action they say is illegal.

NewsChannel 7 spoke with Wysocki Farm's Co-Owner Jacquie Wille earlier Thursday. She said Wysocki Farms followed all the town's rules and regulations.

If that lawsuit is successful, the town may have to pay for the companies legal fees.

The purpose of tonight's hearing, however, was for the people of Saratoga to present all the environmental questions they have concerning the project so that they can be researched and answered by Wysocki Farms in their Environment Impact Report. They will present this report to the DNR who will use it to determine whether or not Wysocki Farms will get the permits they are requesting.

Some residents said tonight's meeting was just as PR move by the Wysocki family, as the DNR is bound by law to approve the permits if Wysocki Farms meets all the requirements.

The people of Saratoga have until September 21st, 2012 to make their concerns known to the DNR.

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