Marysville City Council opened up discussions Monday night about a property that could hold a barley malting facility near Weaver Road.
The application, from Ohio Crafted Malt House, LLC, had already come through the Marysville Planning Commission this month. It was for rezoning the 286-acre piece of land from light to heavy manufacturing. At the time the applicant explained that their intention is to build a barley malting facility that would likely take up about 40 acres of the property. The rest would be for growing barley.
At the commission meeting, several residents voiced concerns about the possible odor that would come off the facility from the malting process.
At Monday’s meeting, City Planner Chad Flowers told council that the city has since reached out to other cities with malting facilities for their input. The cities Flowers spoke to were Great Falls, Montana; Chilton, Wisconsin; and Shakopee, Minnesota. The questions were geared toward odor and transportation.
“All three of them did say the plant did put off an odor, but none of them said it was offensive,” he said.
The malting process is takes place year-round. At the commission meeting, the applicant said this facility will be for lighter roasts to prep the barley for more involved processing elsewhere. The applicant said this would mean the odor would be considerably less than in more involved plants.
One of the cities had received complaints, but they were regarding noise from trucks going to and from the plant.
When asked if they’d do anything differently, all cities noted that rail access was important, and all said they’d make sure the malting facility was in an industrial area. Great Falls’ location was on the outskirts of town, while the other two were closer to residential areas. Shakopee’s was directly in its downtown.
The Marysville property is adjacent to Heritage Cooperative on Scottslawn Road. Council member Nevin Taylor asked Victor Thorne, of the Ohio Crafted Malt House, LLC, if his company had worked with Heritage for access to their property and rail lines. Thorne said there have been discussions, but nothing in writing yet.
“We have had extensive conversations and have toured both sites and the rail to look at where there could be rail access,” Thorne said.
As for the smells, Thorne said their goal is to be at least as clean as the facilities in the cities Flowers contacted.
Council member Tracy Richardson noted that wind also blows west to east, meaning the odor wouldn’t often make its way toward Marysville.
A few citizens had attended Monday night’s meeting to voice concerns about the facility and the application to rezone the property. Mayor J.R. Rausch told them that since this was the first reading, the public would be unable to comment.
Citizens will have the opportunity to comment at the next two meetings on Oct. 9 and 23.
In other council news:
-Mayor J.R. Rausch proclaimed September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Marysville. Cancer survivors and members of Nellie’s Champions for Kids joined the mayor for the proclamation.
-Gave out awards for winners of this year’s Connie Patterson Beautification Contest.
-Rausch also proclaimed Sept. 25-29 as Blessings in a Backpack Week. He was joined by Blessings in a Backpack Marysville founder Amy Zwiezinski.
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