The fight over the proposed fish hatchery in New Haven continues as the town plans to appeal a permit for the hatchery.
The town board passed a resolution Feb. 20 — by a split vote — to work on an appeal of the decision by Adams County to grant a conditional use permit to Randall Atkinson for the fish farm.
Chairman Mike Julson and Supervisor Brad Luger voted in favor of the appeal while Supervisor Lenny Watson voted against. The New Haven town board had previously voted against a nonbinding recommendation of the fish hatchery to the county by the same split vote. The county board has not made a final decision on the fish hatchery, so the appeal would be a preemptive decision in case the county approves the project.
Pete Joslin, New Haven Plan Commission chair, presented a document listing reasons the county board should not approve the fish hatchery. The reasons include the 1.8 acres of the fish hatchery being under the required two acres needed to raise livestock, the conditional use permit not being consistent with New Haven comprehensive plan to protect natural areas and water, the New Haven board recommending against the proposal and the use of special exemption permit and conditional use permit disallowing a town veto instead of a change from residential to business.
Atkinson said it is hard to dispel information that is inaccurate and oversteps the bounds of the ordinance and the planning committee. The holdup has caused him to run two months behind on his operation, he said. He presented a letter to everyone in attendance at the meeting that he then read aloud.
“My education, career and companies for over 40 years has focused on being able to understand aquatic lake and river ecosystems for the geological perspectives of aquifers to the hydrology of lakes and streams to the laws that protect and restore them. This understanding allowed me to help others in innovative ways in the management of nutrients from soil to water through plant habitat to fish and wildlife management,” Atkinson said.
Akinson said his experience in conducting a study to improve Lake Mason should show his knowledge in how to keep things clean. His study helped the lead the way to many of the improvements on the lake, he said. His business proposal addresses laws, permitting issues and required registrations, he said.
Julson said that filing an appeal and fighting the project might be expensive, but he seemed determined to move ahead.
After the fish hatchery discussion, Terry Slack, school district administrator, gave a presentation on the new high school. Slack has traveled to different area townships and boards recently to make his case on why the school is needed.
When asked about the future of Neenah Creek School, Slack said the decision isn’t in his hands, but said that he remains committed to keeping the school open. The demographics have changed in the school district, so the boundaries of who attends what school could be changed, he said.
Slack said he understands that people have a hard time paying property taxes, but under the current system raising property taxes is the only way to pay for the school. He also said the school is committed training children to go into any career, not only those that require a four-year college degree.
Slack will continue visiting communities until the April 1 referendum on the high school.
In other business the board did the following:
Heard complaints from citizens about the roads not being plowed quickly and the bus routes not being plowed first. Julson said he will show the snowplow workers the map of where they need to plow first again.
Approved an application for malt/liquor license for The Cove Supper Club by Roger and Karen Hanko.
Approved the surrender of malt/liquor license for The Cove Supper Club by Curt and Diana VanSchoyck.
Discussed the Alden/Ditter petition for discontinuance of First Lane. Julson said he is continuing to look into whether the town abandoned the road and if so, when.