Montgomery Orchard receives CUP for commercial operation

The Le Sueur County Board approved four Conditional Use Permits (CUPs), one allowing for expansion of the Montgomery Orchard operation, during its meeting on Tuesday, June 25.
Presented by Planning & Zoning Director Kathy Brockway, as recommendations of the commission, the applications were from Scott Wardell of the orchard located in Montgomery Township; Tim & Margie Murray, Mankato, to move material for a patio and retaining wall on Lake Washington in Kasota Township; City of St. Peter and Unimin Corp., to operate a compost facility in Kasota Township; and Nicholas & Cheryl Freitag, Madison Lake, an after-the-fact CUP to allow movement of material on Lake Washington in Washington Township.
The application to operate a commercial orchard in Montgomery Township went before the planning commission on June 13. Discussion indicated the site started as a seasonal produce stand, and in 2010 was granted a CUP to host special events. Testimony continued: “Applicant (Wardell) would be able to utilize products to the fullest if given the opportunity to start the commercial orchard, with seasonal use. A new structure will have a commercial oven to bake pies, etc. (not a restaurant), as pies are currently baked off site. He will partner with businesses within the community. There are a high number of requests for cider on site, and the they would provide apple cider demonstrations. Currently they do not sell cider, but if decide to make hard cider in the future, they will need additional licenses from the state and inspection by the MN Department of Ag. Orchard will promote agricultural tourism in Le Sueur County.”
Planning commission approved the application as written.
The county board also:
• Approved equipment purchases for sheriff’s department: Two Stalker Radars @ $1,985 each from Applied Concepts; and Whelen Liberty Light Bar for Ford Expedition from Emergency Automotive Technologies @ $1,636.
• Approved abatement of outlet charges into County Ditch 54 on property formerly owned by MN Valley Milk Assn. (creamery in Montgomery), since the creamery closed many years ago and the property no longer produces wastewater which is discharged to CD 54.
• Reconvened Board of Appeal and Equalization and approved recommendations by office of County Assessor David Armstrong.
• Accepted proposal submitted for auditor-treasurer salary, $78,000 effective June 3, 2013, and $87,000, effective January 1, 2014. 

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