WisBusiness: Sparta council delays ethanol decision

SPARTA – The Sparta City Council has delayed final action on two proposals needed to build an ethanol plant next to the Century Foods International property.

The council voted 5-3 Tuesday night to delay a vote until next week on a zoning ordinance change to allow heavy manufacturing with a conditional-use permit in an M-2 manufacturing zoning district. The council did approve the annexation of an 82-acre site where the ethanol plant could be built.

Century Foods and Coulee Area Renewable Energy LLC are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss their differences. Century officials believe emissions from the ethanol plant could harm the company’s milk-based products. (See a previous WisBusiness story: Ethanol plant could push food company out of Sparta)

One officials said at a Monday meeting of the city planning commission that approval of the ethanol plant could signal the “beginning of the end for Century Foods in Sparta” The company is one of the biggest employers in the city.