• Last modified 755 days ago (Sept. 6, 2018)


Judge orders silage pile removed

Staff writer

A municipal judge ruled Thursday that a mountain of silage on the west edge of Marion must be removed within 10 days, but how, or whether, that will happen is unknown.

“It physically can’t be done in 10 days,” Mike Beneke, owner of the property at 601 W. Main, said.

Municipal judge Randall Pankratz warned Beneke during the hearing that if he fails to comply with the court’s order, he can be fined $100 and ordered to serve up to 30 days in jail.

“I didn’t sleep last night,” Beneke said the day after his hearing. “There is no appeal on the finding in the case.”

Beneke said he decided to disconnect city utilities from his property.

“Why should I write the city a $200 check every month?” Beneke said.

Beneke put up a sign reading “Stay Out” next to the property driveway and painted “4 Sale” on the building windows Thursday.

Beneke began piling silage there in July, and has been at odds with the city ever since. Later that month, the city formally notified him the pile of silage was a zoning violation, and instructed him to remove it. Later the city notified Beneke that the silage creates a health hazard because of both odor and liquids that drain from silage as it ferments. He was again ordered to remove the mountain of silage.

Last week’s court hearing followed Beneke’s request for a hearing in the matter.

Beneke earlier purchased 500 acres of corn to harvest for silage to feed cattle at his Lincolnville feedlot during the winter.

Last modified Sept. 6, 2018