Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sand Mine Seeks to Buy More Land Next to Sparta

A sand mine is trying to buy land in the town of Angelo--which has a moratorium on sand mines. Why would a sand mine buy in town ship that doesn't allow sand mines? For one thing, the moratorium is temporary--six months. And, should Angelo make it permanent, the sand mine could always ask the city of Sparta to annex it the land and then approve it as a sand mine site. That's what happened with the US Silica site. See the red question marks in a circle on the map below for the possible location of a second sand mine in Sparta. The big red blocks are existing sand mines--the US Silica site and the Monroe County sand mine site. SpartaSandMinesMap copy

Little Falls Town Board Tables Action on Sand Mine for Sixty Days, Eyes Moratorium

The Town Board of Little Falls last week decided to table action on an application from Onalaska-based Mathy Construction to build a 100-acre sand mine. Town chair Don Herr and the two other voting members of the town board, Bryan Olsen and Steve Matthews said there some points of disagreement in the application so they wanted to table the matter for further consideration. They first asked Mathy if the company would mind the town tabled the matter and Mathy agreed. Mathy is asking the county to postpone a county zoning hearing about the sand mine.
Mathy is applying for a conditional use permit that would allow it to use the land, currently zoned for general agriculture and general forestry, for a mine.
Separately, the town board circulated a proposed moratorium on sand mining. Herr said that the Mathy request has to be dealt with before the town can enact the moratorium since its request for its proposed sand mine came before the town considered a moratorium. The town will consider the moratorium at next month's meeting.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Falls Planning Commission Rejects Sand Mine, Vote Goes to Town Board

In a vote that took place before a crowd of 60 or 70 people, the planning commission for the town of Little Falls voted 5 to 1 last week to recommend against allowing Onalaska-based Mathy Construction to build a sand mine on a 100-acre site at what was the Howard Pierce tree farm. The planning commission's vote was a recommendation only; it goes before the Town of Little Falls board on Wednesday night. The three voting members of the board will then make a decision on the sand mine. There was much concern about truck traffic. Mathy would truck sand on Hwy. 27, delivering either to a rail line in the city of Sparta or driving it to La Crosse to load it on a barge on the Mississippi. The route would mean trucks carrying tons of sand would be driving past the Sparta Senior High School and the Lawrence Lawson elementary school.

Image 15Tara Wetzel,  an environmental manager  for Mathy Construction, spoke about the mine; Mathy also showed did a slide presentation.

Planning committee members who voted against the sand mine were Don Herr, the town chair; Pat Nugent, Marge Peacock, Sue Van Geertruy and Douglas Moskonas. Wayne Turckalski voted for the mine. Town board members who will consider the mine Wednesday night are Herr, Bryan Olsen and Steve Matthews. That meeting will be in the Little Falls town hall, located on the edge of Cataract on County Truck I at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The Monroe County zoning committee will take up the matter at a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday night at the auditorium in the county offices at Rolling Hills. The zoning committee will vote on the matter no matter what the town board's decision is. If the county zoning committee votes against the sand mine, the matter stops there. If the county zoning committee approves it, the town board has 21 days to veto decision and the matter stops there, according to Alison Elliot, director of the Monroe County zoning office.Image 14