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August 30, 2015

United States

Wisconsin—Coulee Shrimp Farm Will Not Produce Objectionable Odors

 

Coulee Shrimp, a proposed shrimp farm in Onalaska, Wisconsin, will move forward after owner Tim Hagen convinced his neighbors that the farm will not produce objectionable odors.  The farm plans to raise 45,000 shrimp at a time in a 6,500-square-foot building, holding 15 to 20 tanks.

 

On August 26, 2015, the Onalaska Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Hagen’s Coulee Shrimp farm after a public hearing where two of Hagen’s future neighbors spoke.

 

Ted Stein of Stein Counseling spoke against the proposed farm, saying his research led him to believe there could be an odor problem that would reflect poorly on the professional service businesses in the area.  “Literally, this would be in our backyard.  I’ve been there for a number of years.  I have no desire to come out and have that be a smell,” Stein said.

 

Hagen said there would be no odors from the farm.  “We were surprised too.  When we first started this, we thought there might be an odor, but with the extreme heat and the shrimp themselves, they keep things pretty clean,” Hagen said.  Hagen and his general manager, Darcy Hanson, explained that any smell would come from shells discarded as shrimp outgrow them.  However, Coulee Shrimp will not store those shells outside at any time or inside for any length of time.  “They’re scooped up and disposed of properly and quickly,” Hanson said.

 

Coulee Shrimp plans to sell the shells to farmers as fertilizer.  “When we first started this, we thought we’d have to be disposing of them, but now we’re finding out there’s...[a demand] for them, so it’s a win-win for us,” Hagen said.

 

If neighbors complain of odors, the commission has the option of reconsidering the condition use permit.

 

The shrimp will not be processed in any way, just grown and placed on ice before they are sold on the premises.

 

Another neighbor, Jeff Pralle, works in an office across the street and was in favor of the business.  He said he was looking forward to the unique business opening up.  He joked, “I’ll be in favor as soon as I know when the first shrimp feed is.

 

The permit will allow Hagen to begin the site planning process.  He hopes to begin construction as soon as possible and open for business by 2016.  The business will employ an estimated three to six part-time employees.

 

Source: Courier-Life.  Shrimp Farm Moves Forward Despite Whiff of Controversy.  Jourdan Vian (jvian@lacrossetribune.com).  August 27, 2015.

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