CITY COUNCIL GREEN LIGHTS DAKOTA PROTEIN SOLUTIONS
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
Meeting in regular session Tuesday, Aug. 17, the Freeman City Council unanimously signed off on a Resolution 2021-07, which supports Dakota Protein Solutions and its plans to build a “protein and related products” processing facility one mile east/southeast of Freeman on the location that currently serves as home to Dakota Rendering.
The action followed a presentation by several who are involved in the project, which is expected to break ground this fall, once final permits are obtained through Turner County Planning and Zoning Commission and the DANR (Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources), and be in operation sometime next year.
The existing rendering plant, which has been owned and operated by Ray Spangler, will be almost entirely removed and a new facility will be built in its place. It will include a building that will be used for the rendering and a low-pressure irrigation system and a holding pond to the southeast.
Project officials say Spangler will continue to be a vendor at the plant but will have no part in its operation.
Dakota Protein Solutions will handle primarily beef and pork losses and create a fat by-product that will be used in the bio fuel industry, as well as bone meal used as a feed supplement. It will provide jobs for 12 on-site employees.
“We’re going to run a very clean operation out there,” said Ron Stover, who is from Elkhorn, Neb., owns a company called Stony Creek Nutrition and is part of the Dakota Protein Solutions team that presented to the council last week.
Blaine Saarie, who is president of the council, asked about the potential for odor.
“The biggest concern that everybody is going to have is smell,” he said.
“The smell right now is that the losses sit outside in the heat of the day, and that is an odor issue; that will be gone,” responded project engineer Todd Van Maanen, who called this “a very low-odor potential project” and “a vast improvement from what’s there.”
“Everything will be inside,” said Stover. “Nothing outside.”
Animal caucuses will be brought onto the site in tarped trucks and taken directly into the facility, which will include air scrubbers to help reduce the odor inside. That’s not a requirement, project officials say, but an extra step being taken by Dakota Protein Solutions to help mitigate any environmental concerns. Trucks will also be disinfected before leaving the facility.
And the facility is being engineered using the same technology that is part of the Dakota Provisions turkey plant outside of Huron.
“I’ve been there,” said Van Maanen. “I had some expectations when I went there and I was pleasantly surprised by how clean everything was and how odor-free everything was.”
“This facility, the way it looks here, will be much more attractive than the one we’re currently dealing with,” said councilor Terry Jacobsen.
The action from the city was required for Dakota Protein Solutions to obtain a state environmental permit since it is a municipality located within three miles of the facility.
For more from the city council’s Aug. 17 meeting, see the public notice printed on page 7B