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County board allows digging near Zorbaz to continue

Excavation will resume on a Hubbard County hillside after the county commission gave its blessing Wednesday over the strenuous objection of environmentalists.

The board, voting 4-1, cited safety concerns at the intersection as the reason for allowing additional digging to level the hill more.

The intersection at county roads 7 and 50, known informally as the "Zorbaz corner" after the pizzeria just below the site, has been the subject of controversy since early last month when a bridge contractor began leveling the terrain without a conditional use permit to use the dirt for grade work.

Representatives from Central Specialties, Inc., appeared before the board with a reclamation plan and pledged to landscape the terrain as soon as the excavation is completed.

"In hindsight we shoulda got a permit," said Central Specialties superintendent Al Minnerath. But he urged the county board to look forward, not back, and allow the company to get the landscaping done and established before winter sets in.

"They know the rules," an angry Dan Kittilson said. "They exploited this for their gain and you are letting them do it."

For more on the story, see Saturday's Park Rapids Enterprise.