Last year associates of dairy-disaster-maker Rick Millner purchased the old Swier Dairy near Ramona and renamed it the Lake County Dairy. I warned that if Millner was coming to the county, there was a fair chance that he'd bring his documented bad business and environmental practices with him.
The first manure-caked work boot has dropped: Millner's newest dairy is stiffing my neighbors. Drop by the Lake County Courthouse, and you can look at two mechanic's liens filed against Lake County Dairy, LLC, by Barger Construction, LLC, of Madison. Barger Construction filed both liens in June for work invoiced last February. One lien covers work done on the dairy's south barn (ridge cap, filler strips, wood framing, four overhead doors, etc.) for over $16,000. The other lien covers structural steel and wall panels installed on another shed for $7,200. As of 4 p.m. this afternoon, the courthouse had received no release indicating the dairy has paid these two bills.
So Lake County Dairy, managed by Rick Millner, owes a local Lake County business more than $23,000. We can hope that the dairy's delay in payment is an isolated incident... but its manager's history should make us nervous that an ugly pattern may be starting to repeat. Neighbors, keep an ear out for the other boot....
Update 19:32 MDT: In related dairy industry news, Rep. Stace Nelson notes on Facebook that Hanson County Concerned Citizens have won their court challenge against the 7000-head Hanson County Dairy proposed by Brookings CAFO kingpin Michael Crinion. Rep. Nelson and many of his neighbors contended that the dairy had waited too long to act on a conditional use permit and must now re-apply; in a 14-page ruling handed down today, Judge Tim Bjorkman agrees.