SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- A dairy processor that fought plans to build an ethanol plant on adjacent land has reached an agreement to buy the more than 80-acre site.
As part of the deal with Century Foods International, Coulee Area Renewable Energy LLC (CARE) agreed not to build an ethanol plant within three miles of Century Foods' Sparta plants.
Century Foods had argued emissions from the ethanol plant would contaminate its milk-based products, while a citizens group called Friends of Sparta and some other residents raised issues such as potential odor problems.
CARE filed a lawsuit in Monroe County Circuit Court in December claiming that Century Foods and its parent company, Hormel Foods Corp., breached terms of an October settlement that called for Century Foods to buy CARE's Sparta site at an agreed price.
The lawsuit said the two companies were insisting on a new condition -- that CARE board members agree not to allow an ethanol plant on land they personally own.
Under Tuesday's agreement, Century Foods will pay $2.5 million for the Sparta land and other rights. All lawsuits filed during the yearlong fight over the proposed site will be dismissed.
Plans for the ethanol plant were first announced in March 2006, and opposition began surfacing early in 2007.