Proposed Fertilizer Mixing Plant Triggers Opposition From Linn County Neighbors

Feb 11, 2014

A group of land owners in Linn County are mobilizing to fight a proposed fertilizer mixing plant near their homes and farms.  

Salem-based Pratum Co-op wants Linn County to grant a conditional use permit that will allow it to build a fertilizer mixing plant on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use.  The nearly 70-old cooperative provides fuel, fertilizer, and other services to farmers in the Willamette Valley.   

Some neighbors of the proposed plant are not happy

Melnyk: “It’s an industrial facility with huge concrete pads.  It’s about six acres.  It will be storing all kinds of chemicals, petroleum, herbicides, pesticides…”

Leslie Melnyk owns Goosefoot Farm, just west of Jefferson, and across the street from the proposed plant site.  She says her farm is trying to get certified as organic and that the plant would hurt their chances.   

Melnyk: “And not only this a direct threat to our marketing plan and our business, but it’s a complete misuse of Exclusive Farm Use land.”

Melnyk is also concerned that the site is on a flood plain and suggests there is open industrial land available nearby.  Pratum Co-op did not return KLCC’s call for comment.   

The Linn County Planning Commission was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Pratum permit Tuesday night, but the company has requested a 60-day delay to address certain application issues further.