Two Monroe County townships have said "whoa!" to sand mine development and have passed moratoriums on sand mines. The problem for both of these townships, the town of Angelo and the town of the Sparta, is that they are adjacent to the city of Sparta, which has swiftly annexed land adjacent to the city and in one instance, approved the development of one major sand mine. Sand mine companies continue to put out feelers to buy other property adjacent to the city.
Now there's a movement in the city of Sparta to declare a moratorium on sand mining, as the towns of Sparta and Angelo have done and as the city of Winona, Minn., has also done. The town of Angel's moratorium lays out the rationale for a moratorium. It cites concerns about the impact of sand mining on local infrastructure, on property values (property owners trying to sell homes near the Tunnel City sand mine have had no prospective buyers look at their homes) and on health. The idea: to find out what all a sand mine entails and to decided whether or not to allow sand mining and what regulations to enact if the town decides to allow sand mining. To read the moratorium, a possible model for the city of Sparta, should it choose to pass such a moratorium, click here.