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Great Lakes Article:

Centerville residents decry farm expansion plan
Cleveland dairy would become largest in state
Neil Rhines
Green Bay Press Gazette

MANITOWOC - Health and environmental concerns drew nearly 200 concerned people to express their feelings on a proposed town of Centerville dairy expansion.

About 200 people flooded the room and adjacent hallways at the Manitowoc County Office Complex on Tuesday night to voice their trepidation about a potential 4,718-cow addition to Maple Leaf Dairy in Cleveland.

The expansion to about 6,000 cows would make Maple Leaf Dairy on Manitowoc County X the largest in the state, something Judith Perlman said she is concerned with. Tuesday’s meeting was an informational session, no decisions were made.

“This is a special area, it determines some special oversight,” Perlman said.

This is the second major farm development that has stirred controversy from Manitowoc County residents.

Norval Dvorak and his family members have proposed a 5,000-head feedlot in the Manitowoc County town of Gibson. If that plan is approved, the cattle would be shipped from the farm to Packerland Packing Co. of Green Bay, about a 30-mile trip.

Meanwhile, Maple Leaf Dairy must secure a county manure management permit, as well as a permit from the Department of Natural Resources to proceed with the expansion.

Maple Leaf currently has a permit up for reevaluation that addresses runoff, manure storage and manure management issues, DNR agent Tom Bauman said.

The DNR will draft a permit and environmental assessment. Public notice will be given, and a public hearing will probably be held for sometime next month.

Maple Leaf Dairy lays in the previously polluted Point Creek and Fischer Creek watersheds.

Maple Leaf Dairy’s proposed expansion would place the watersheds and Lake Michigan at risk, Perlman said.

Many in the crowd voiced concerns about the manure that will be generated on the farm and how it would be handled.

Bill Wiesmueller advocated identifying responsible parties for any future contamination, and the posting of a bond to ensure money is available to fix a problem should damage occur.

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