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UPDATE: Judge rules in favor of proposed Saratoga mega-dairy


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) -  A judge ruled in favor of a proposed Saratoga mega-dairy in a dispute with the town over building permits.

Wysocki Family Farms has proposed Golden Sands Dairy, a 7-thousand acre farm in the Town of Saratoga that would manage 5,300 dairy cattle, plus the crops and support services for the farm. Saratoga’s Board opposes building the dairy, and their Building Inspector Lorelei Fuehrer has refused to issue the building permits. Wysocki Family Farms filed a civil suit last July after Town Board members placed a moratorium on new construction.

Portage County Judge Thomas Eagon ruled that the state's commercial building code specifically exempts farm buildings, and that Fuehrer must issue the permits for seven proposed structures on the would-be farm's property.

Eagon acted as a substitute judge in the case, holding a hearing last fall. That’s when Saratoga officials claimed Wysocki Family Farms did not submit all required information prior to the start of the building moratorium. The Wysocki’s claim they met the requirements, but the town still failed to issue the building permits.

A group of four cranberry growers filed a brief last month, opposing the Golden Sands Dairy. They claim the farm would add nitrates and other contaminants to the water supplies including Seven Mile Creek and Ten Mile Creek, endangering their “organically grown” cranberry classification.

The farm still needs special permits for high capacity wells from the DNR. A decision is expected later this spring.