Williams County will put off making a decision on whether to grant a conditional use permit to a landfill that’s seeking to become the state’s first TENORM-approved facility.

In a special session on Friday, Nov. 1, a quorum of three county commissioners voted unanimously to put the meeting off until Nov. 19.

Williams County Commission Chairman David Montgomery said the next regular session of the Williams County Board of Commissioners will have just three commissioners in attendance.

While that is a quorum and the board could legally move forward on the matter, Montgomery said commissioners feel it is important to have the full board consider the matter.

“This is too important of a decision to make with just three commissioners,” Montgomery said. “We felt it is best to do this with the full board.”

Williams County Commissioner Steven Kemp, meanwhile, said the decision to delay the decision ahead of Tuesday was an effort to spare people a wasted trip.

Commissioners could have tabled the matter on Tuesday, but this way they hope to provide advance notice that a decision won’t be made until Nov. 19.

“Rather than having them show up and say (on Tuesday) that we cannot make a decision without the full board, we are trying to save them time and money,” he explained.

Commissioners asked Development Services Director Kameron Hymer to send out notices as well, letting people know of Friday’s decision.

The notices would not just be going out to landowners who live within a mile of the facility, Hymer said. They will go out to any who have sent comments or inquired about the facility.

Williams County has received several comments related to the TENORM facility, among them a lengthy submission from the Braaten Law Firm, which is representing the Borrud Family Farms, located in the vicinity of Secure Energy’s 13 Mile Landfill.

Braaten also represented Tri Township in McKenzie County when Indian Hills Solids Management Facility applied for a conditional use permit to allow it to accept TENORM wastes.

In that case, Tri Township commissioned an independent assessment of the facility and made recommendations on requirements for the conditional use permit.

Braaten, in its statement on behalf of the Borrud family, said the two facilities are similar enough for the recommendations in that study to apply to Secure Energy’s facility as well.

“Given the similarities between the facilities and identical requested conditional uses, Borrud Family Farms does not believe it is necessary to conduct additional environmental impact assessments if Secure Energy accepts the recommendations from the two independent industry experts who weighed in on the previously proposed IHD facility,” the letter states.

The comments also contain a petition expressing opposition to any TENORM facility anywhere in Williams County with almost 150 signatures listed.

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