Strauss Brands Seeks to Grow Grass Fed Beef Production

Here’s a letter of Strauss’ response for reconsidering the motion to deny Strauss’ special use permit in Franklin. Re-consideration will be taken up at tonight’s Common Council meeting.

November 2, 2020

Steve Olson
City of Franklin
9229 W. Loomis Road
Franklin, WI 53132

Common Council
City of Franklin
9229 W. Loomis Road
Franklin, WI 53132

Jesse Wesolowski, City Attorney
City of Franklin
11402 W. Church Street
Franklin, WI 53132

Dear Mayor Olson,

Strauss Brands, LLC (“Strauss”) would like to thank Mayor Olson and the Common Council for potentially reconsidering the motion to deny Strauss’ special use permit for a meat processing facility. Strauss wanted to take this opportunity to provide additional details in support of its project and help alleviate any concerns that the Common Council may have.

A question was raised regarding noise from the processing facility. To reduce noise generated from the facility, Strauss will implement sound control devices, such as additional chimneys or baffles, to reduce the sound from exhaust and ventilation fans to a level of 65 decibels at the property line. For comparison, 65 decibels is between the noise generated by a conversation in an office or background music, and a radio or television. Sixty decibels is considered fairly quiet. If it is deemed that the 65 decibels is not enough, Strauss is willing to put in additional mitigation measures.

Strauss is also committed to ensuring truck traffic is as imperceptible as possible. To address those potential concerns, Strauss, will install an additional five foot tall landscape berm on the east side of the livestock loading area to provide additional screening and sound deflection. Strauss will raise the berm on the north property line by approximately two feet, and in a manner to make it appear natural. Berms will also be extended to provide sound and visual screening of the parking area. These berms will reduce noise and further conceal delivery areas. Strauss is open to other suggestions if the common council believes the landscaping changes are not enough to alleviate concerns.

At the October 20th Common Council meeting, comments were made regarding the Fire Chief having concerns with an ammonia refrigeration system. The Fire Chief, Adam Remington, in an October 19th email to the Common Council only brought up the ammonia refrigeration system for “pre-incident emergency response planning” purposes. He elaborated that “the presence of the ammonia refrigeration system in and of itself does not automatically and immediately present a specific threat to public health and safety.” Ammonia refrigeration systems are safe, and Strauss will ensure its system is properly maintained.

Additionally, a false claim was made that Strauss has not followed water permitting requirements. Attachment 2 to this letter clarifies that claim is without merit. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) provided general information regarding meat processing facilities. The DNR email makes clear that Strauss did make previous inquiries with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Contrary to claims made at the October 20th meeting, the email does not state that Strauss is currently operating without a permit. Attached 3 provides further evidence of the permitting process.

Strauss has designed this facility to make sure its operations do not extend beyond the property line. A letter from S.R. Mills, the CEO of Bear Real Estate Group, demonstrates that an experienced property developer is not concerned that the facility will impact the Ryan Meadows residential subdivision. As explained in Mr. Mills’ letter, residential homes are ¼ to ½ mile from the facility, and there is a 20 acre natural and wooded buffer area. Accordingly, Mr. Mills “firmly believes the Strauss facility will have no adverse impacts on the Ryan Meadows subdivision.” A copy of Mr. Mills’ letter is also attached.

Strauss is committed to being a good neighbor in the industrial park. Although Strauss believes facility operations will be imperceptible to neighboring properties, the company will institute a citizen complaint procedure. Concerned residents will be able to call a designated Strauss representative and provide details of any complaints. Strauss will compile complaints, if any, and provide a monthly report to the City Health Department of the complaints and any action taken. Strauss will continue to work with the City Health Department to report each potential complaint in a timely manner and evaluate strategies to address and alleviate complaints/concerns that are reoccurring.

Again, Strauss would like to thank Mayor Olson and the Common Council for the work they have done in evaluating this project, and for possibly reconsidering the previous denial. This project will provide substantial benefits to the City of Franklin, and Strauss looks forward to partnering with the City to make it successful.


Strauss Brands, LLC
Jerald Bussen


  1. Pingback: THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2020: #1 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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