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Planning Commission Approves Dairy Special Use Permit

On a unanimous vote, following a public hearing, the Prowers County Planning Commission approved a request for a special use permit to construct and operate a commercial cattle dairy in the southeastern section of Holly. The district is zoned as A-2 and A-3.  Most of the facility, owned and operated by Syracuse Dairy, LLC-Holly Location, will be located in Section 18 of Prowers County, with a small portion of the facility located in Section 7.  Total acreage of the dairy is approximately 610 acres.  None of the feed storage and dairy structures will displace land that is currently irrigated.  The main entrance to the dairy will be on CR 37.

It was noted in the general discussion during the public hearing held on April 4th at the Prowers County Annex, the dairy will obtain state and federal permits for a concentrated animal feeding operation and will be required to comply with applicable laws and regulations for such facilities.  The proposed facilities include access roads, dairy cow and heifer pens, a milking facility, a shop building, feed storage bins, livestock waste management facilities and a water supply system.

This is not the first go-round to establish a dairy in Holly. In July, 2014, the County Planning Commission approved a provisional special use permit application from Karl Nyquist of C & A Companies.  The presentation made on July 15, 2014 called for approximately 7,000 head of cattle for the operation.  Nyquist had partnered with Syracuse Dairy which had several dairy yards in operation in western Kansas.  After a period, plans were halted in part, due to the presence of flocks of Prairie Chickens which were listed as an endangered species in the proposed area.  However, a judge’s ruling to delist the fowl was made in December of 2015, opening the door for the stalled project.

The principals in the operation will have a year to begin some form of construction on the property to maintain the viability of the new special use permit. Operation plans discussed at the 2015 meeting called for milk production at about 420,000 pounds per day with feed demands estimated at 595,000 pounds per day for 6,000 head of milking cows.  The dairy is proposed to employ two dozen full time workers with an estimated combined annual salary of $2M, based on the 2015 presentation.  Other economic benefits will include annual real estate taxes for Prowers County.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of HollyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedHot TopicsUtilities

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