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Nobles County considers more patrols in Brewster

WORTHINGTON -- A concerned citizen of Brewster requested additional patrols and more noticeable signage within Brewster's city limits during Tuesday's meeting of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners.

Don Nelson said truck traffic going to and from Minnesota Soybean Processors, which is located north of Brewster, has caused concern among local residents because of the speed at which trucks pass through town.

Citing numerous examples of truckers using excessive speed and causing near-accidents, Nelson said he'd like to see the speed limit lowered to 20 miles per hour within the city limits, or get better enforcement of the existing 30 mph limit.

"We've got children on this street that play out in the yard," Nelson said.

In one instance, Nelson said he followed a truck heading into Brewster at 70 mph. The truck was still going 60 mph by the time it reached the posted 30 mph speed limit sign, and had only slowed to 45 mph by the time it reached the elementary school.

"It's uncalled for these trucks to be driving that fast within the city limits," Nelson added.

Commissioner Marv Zylstra said that because speed limit signs are already posted on the entrances into Brewster, "more enforcement is what we need."

Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder said only the state can change a posted speed limit, and that would take the completion of a speed study on the roadway. Based on previous experience, Schnieder said it would be unlikely the state would change the posted speed limit.

Schnieder did say, however, that the county could look at getting grant funding to purchase a speed cart that tracks speeds of vehicles and notifies motorists of their speeds, with the posted speed limit also displayed. The use of speed carts does help in the reduction of speeding motorists, he added.

"There's a lot of good people out there who abide by the law," Schnieder said. "Certain people are ignoring (posted speed limits). More signs won't change their habits, but more enforcement may."

Brewster is patrolled by Nobles County, as it does not have its own police department. While Zylstra said it is impossible to have the community patrolled 24/7, he was in favor of Nelson's idea to have patrols through the community during daytime hours, a couple of times per week.

In other action, the board:

- Approved a conditional use permit for Henning Construction, Adrian, to operate a gravel pit with a hot mix plant on the Clyde Lynn property in the northeast quarter, north of Interstate 90, in Section 15 of Westside Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Duinink Brothers, Prinsburg, to operate a gravel crushing and hot mix plant on the Robin Hamilton property in the northwest quarter of Section 29, Larkin Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Dave VanderKooi to expand an existing dairy to include a 98- by 472-foot free stall barn with a breezeway and a 176- by 500-foot earthen basin for 1,400 animal units. The dairy is located in the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 15, Bigelow Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Derek Erlandson, Adrian, to construct a 102- by 192-foot total confinement barn to house 2,400 pigs in the southeast quarter of Section 9, Little Rock Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Slater Brothers, Wilmont, to construct a 102- by 172-foot total confinement barn to house 2,200 pigs in the southeast quarter of Section 11, Larkin Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Layton Gruis to construct two 46- by 196-foot partial confinement barns, along with a 100- by 8-foot open concrete pit, to house 1,140 pigs per barn in the southwest quarter of Section 21, Little Rock Township.

- Approved a conditional use permit for Randy Landhuis, Leota, to develop six lots on a 4.37 acre tract of land on the west side of Leota, in Section 8 of Leota Township.

- Authorized the advertising for bids on overlay projects on Nobles County 13, 17, 27 and 24. Bid opening will be 1:30 p.m. Aug. 28.

- Authorized writing a letter to the property owner of 519 Humiston Ave., a home which had previously been seized for non-payment of property taxes, requesting removal of all personal belongings from the home within 60 days. The City of Worthington has expressed interest in purchasing the parcel and removing the existing structure.

- Approved several third quarter and annual appropriations, as follows: $5,989.25 to RSVP; $8,750 to Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp.; $6,250 to Nobles County Fair Association; $7,500 to Nobles County Historical Society; $2,000 to Nobles County Art Center; $1,200 to Civil Air Patrol; $5,000 to Southwest Minnesota Foundation; and $1,400 to Travel Southwest. In addition, commissioners approved a $225 contribution to the Manna Food Pantry to purchase 10 backpacks and supplies for children within Nobles County.

- Appointed Craig Nienkirk to the Nobles County Planning and Zoning Board.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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