One crane last week was joined by a second this week at the Lynden Darigold plant for the dismantling of an old milk drying tower and installation of a new one. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Cranes already at work for $19 million project

LYNDEN ­— With two large contracted cranes already at work against the skyline, Darigold has begun an upgrade of milk drying capacity at the Lynden plant.

Workers and equipment of Barnhart Crane & Rigging and Hansen-Rice Construction Inc. were active on the Depot Road site this week.

The first action is to remove the roundish 85-foot-tall, red-topped chrome dryer that has been in place for the past 42 years, reports the Lynden Planning Department from application materials submitted in June. 

When a new milk drying tower  — boxed in with concrete like a larger one built in 2011 — of just over 70 feet is planned.

“This renovation will generate little to no operational impact to the facility, both during and after construction,” said John Kay, an architect with Magellan Architects of Redmond, representing Darigold, in a letter to the city.

For the additional height, a city conditional-use permit is needed, as the tower would exceed the city’s height limit for the zone by 10 feet and 6 inches. The Lynden Planning Department is now taking public comment on the CUP application for the Planning Commission’s July 9 evening meeting, which will be remote due to COVID-19.

Comments or concerns on this topic can be submitted to the Planning Department to be considered by the commission, or residents can ask to participate in the meeting, by calling to 360-354-5532, said Lynden Planning Director Heidi Gudde.

“The project represents an approximately $19 million investment into the Lynden facility. As an industry that has been part of the city for many years — and I think I can speak for the mayor and administration when I say (this) — we are pleased see Darigold’s commitment to the Lynden location,” Gudde said.

A letter of notice of the project went out to property owners within 300 feet of it.