At a board of adjustment hearing on Thursday, July 6, the Moody County commission voted to sustain the conditional use permit of Kramer’s Auction LLC.
The board reviewed the permit in early June for items Kendra Eng, deputy of zoning, found Cindy Kramer to be in violation of on her letter of assurance.
These items included parking, drainage, keeping the area outside of the livestock barn to be kept free of grass, weeds, household items, iron, metal pieces, unlicensed vehicles, garbage and debris and the selling of items considered household.
Kramer applied for a conditional use permit and livestock sale barn on June 30, 2015. After some discussions, a letter of assurance was prepared and signed on March 1, 2016, by her and the zoning official at that time.
In January 2017, Kramer went into the zoning office to review the number of animal units she sold in 2016.
At that time, Eng said Kramer indicated she wanted to increase her sales from one auction each week to two, which led Eng to visit the site and further review the letter of assurance.
On Thursday, Eng said after the June meeting, Kramer took significant steps to come into compliance with the letter.
“I have seen major improvements on the property and see that she is taking the right steps to come into compliance,” Eng said. “Today I recommend not revoking the permit, but additional work does need to be done.”
As part of due process, Kramer’s attorney Bob Pesall attended the meeting to present their side of the discussion.
“The tradition of maintaining a sale barn is incredibly important, especially in an agricultural county like Moody County,” Pesall said.
Pesall noted the steps and improvements made, including adding more gravel to the driveway for parking, culverts and ditching installed for better drainage away from the barn and reinforced fencing materials.
Notices had also been posted at the entrance of the parking lot and at the front and side doors of the barn stating no household electronics, toys, art, appliances, furniture, building materials and clothing, considered household items, cannot and will not be sold at the auction.
Because the Kramer’s Auction sale barn sits along a county gravel road, according to county ordinance, the only items that can be sold are farming supplies and equipment.
On the letter of assurance, in addition to livestock, allowable sales at the auction include animals, birds, tack, hay, farmer supplies and equipment.
Regarding concerns of driveway and parking space for emergency vehicles, Pesall said Kramer has as much concern of keeping her guests as the county.
Moving forward with the conditional use permit, a list will be put together stating specifically what can and cannot be sold at the auctions to eliminate any questions from Kramer or the public.
Based on suggestions from Sheriff Troy Wellman and Eric Kovach, ambulance supervisor, Kramer will look at adding gravel to the north driveway, which is currently dirt, and at possibly expanding the “no parking” area around the barn to allow room for emergency vehicles.
Commission assistant Marty Skroch said as she continues to make changes and improvements, working with the county while she does, is a great place to start.
In February, commissioners had postponed a decision on allowing Kramer to add an additional sale for horses each week and will come back and review that request in August.
Sales at Kramer’s Auction, located three miles west and half a mile north of Colman, occur on the first and third Saturdays of each month beginning at 11 a.m. with new tack sales, continuing at 1 p.m. with hay, straw and miscellaneous farm-related items, 2 p.m. with poultry, followed by pigs, goats, sheep, calves, cows, used tack and horses.