Permit may be needed to tear down rural buildings

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Swift County is considering requiring rural landowners to get a permit if they plan on demolishing a building on their property as a way to track what happens with the debris that is created. At this point, it knows that not all demolition debris is being disposed of according to the law.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Swift County Environmental Services Director Scott Collins received “calls, complaints, concerns” about the burying of demolition debris and garbage on farmsteads.

While some people may be unlawfully burying demolition debris on their farm sites, there are contractors who are bidding to haul it to demolition sites and dispose of it lawfully, he told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting June 6.

“The concerns that some of the contractors have is whether or not all the rules are consistent, are they being applied consistently, who is the police of the rules and how is it all going to be done?” Collins said.

The contractors might give a property owner a quote of $4,000 to haul away demolition debris and properly dispose of it, but the property owner figures he can hire an excavator for $1,000 and have someone bury it. “That is happening,” he said. “They are doing it on nights, weekends, and if we don’t hear about it we don’t know about it,” Collins said.

A person who did bury construction debris on his rural site, told Collins that he had called the county, called the state, and he thought he had done everything right. “Technically, he didn’t. That is why we have to have a consistent policy in how we are going to enforce this state rule,” Collins told commissioners.

Swift County has had this problem in the past, Commission Chairman Eric Rudningen, District 5-Kerkhoven, said. It has had people dig up the debris and properly dispose of it. “What is your thought? How do we police it better?”

The only way to do it is consistency, Collins replied. It may require a permit for demolition of a structure in rural areas. “Maybe it is a $25 permit, but that way the county is involved. We know what they are doing,” he said. The county would do a site inspection so that knows the size of the building to be demolished and the materials involved....

 

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