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enXco seeks land for concrete mix plant

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Planning Commission has tabled a request from Mortenson Construction & enXco to develop a lay-down yard, construction offices and a concrete mix plant on land in the northeast quarter of Section 6, Dewald Township. The action was taken during the commission's March 31 meeting.

The two entities are now in the process of meeting with other landowners in the area that may be willing to rent them some land for the operation. The site is needed during the construction of the Nobles Wind Project, which is slated to start up later this month and continue through the end of the year.

Nobles County Environmental Services Director Wayne Smith said two neighbors to the proposed site spoke out against the location at last week's meeting.

"They pointed out that it was not a very good site," said Smith, adding that all of the commission members agreed.

"They picked a site on top of a hill, less than a quarter mile from a house," said Smith.

Several safety concerns were discussed, including the site's close proximity to a house, line-of-sight issues by being at the top of a hill on Nobles County 13 (Jones Avenue), narrow banks and sharp ditches along the road, and the fact that the site is located within a floodplain.

Smith said there was some discussion about developing temporary turning lanes to make the site work, but in the end, the commission encouraged Mortenson and enXco to seek an alternative site.

The lay-down yard would house construction trailers and include space for employee parking, work trucks, poles, cables and other supplies until they are needed. Fuel tanks would also be stored on site. The plans include using the site for daily meetings, during which employees will receive their work assignments.

Once operational, the concrete mix plant would make approximately 1,000 yards of concrete per day, five days per week, with nearly 100 loads of concrete hauled from the site daily.

With the conditional use permit tabled for Mortenson Construction and enXco, the planning commission anticipates the project, with a new location, will be on the agenda for its April 28 meeting.

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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