Joint Meeting of Town of Cooks Valley Board/Plan Commission
Town of Cooks Valley
June 17, 2015
Chairman of the Town of Cooks Valley Darrel Fehr called the joint meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley board /plan commission to order at 8:00 pm on Wednesday June 17, 2015 at the Cooks Valley Town Hall [15751 40th Street]. Town of Cooks Valley board/plan commission members in attendance: Darrel Fehr, David Clements, Matt Borofka, Doug Zwiefelhofer, Calvin Swartz, Thomas Short, and Damian Prince.
Introductions: Darrel Fehr introduced the Town of Cooks Valley board. Doug Zwiefelhofer introduced the plan commission members and welcomed the co-owner/managers of PurFrac and the delegation present to the meeting. Doug Zwiefelhofer explained this is an informational meeting to give the facts/details of the proposed mine to the public and board members. He expressed optimism for good stewardship of the land and fellowship between neighbors.
PurFrac presentation of PurFrac/County development plan: PurFrac representatives-Sean Rosenbrook, David Rosenbrook, and Bruce Durand. Bruce Durand gave a background of his experiences: mining in Wyoming, recycling business in Bloomer, trucking business with serves Great Northern and involved in building some plants. PurFrac is currently building a railroad spur in New Auburn and is meeting with Chippewa County on the crossing of Highway SS. He has observed the present level of loading of sand on trains and hopes to improve the efficiency of loading by implementing a loop to fill the trains. The mine construction will reclaim land right behind the mining, an improvement over other mines with only 35-40 acres open at one time. The original plan for the location of the plant was on Loran Zwiefelhofer’s property but due to water run-off from the EOG mine they are now moving the plant location behind Jerry Rubenzer’s residence. They intend to use storm water to wash sand, saving the pumping of ground water. Original driveway access was to exit on County Highway DD but they have worked with Louis Sonnentag and Don Sarauer to exit on 135th Avenue. There will be no towers or pumping sand onto a pile. There will be a concrete slab, conveyer and coverall building keeping the workers and sand out of the rain. There is an anticipated 300-320 trucks hauling per day from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm six days a week, possibly on good days are off the road by 5:00 pm, and possibly part days on Saturday. Annual tonnage is estimated at 1.2 million tons per year with approximately 40 million tons of sand which will determine the length of the mine of 30 years. The market for sand is low at this time but there are markets out there and they are hoping the demand will go up in the fall as the price for gas is slowly rising now. PurFrac is permitted for one high capacity well. John Dustman of Summit Engineering out of Minneapolis is the architect for the mine. There will be no blasting at this point and no mining in the winter but they will have sand under cover so can wash later into the season. They will be 10-20 feet above the water level with test wells. Eventually there will be a conveyor over or under 148th/150th Avenue. PurFrac is working with Dan Fedderly on the prospect of driving or sharing the road built by EOG on 135th Avenue with PurFrac having its own driveway exit. PurFrac is working with landowners about run-off and other issues. There is little overburden in some areas of the mine so the berm will be small. #2 sand will go into the construction of the berm.
Questions/input/concerns of citizens: Q. the plant’s proximity to the Jerry Rubenzer residence? A. The plant was moved closer to the neighbors when trying to get away from run-off from the EOG mine. It is felt with the plant being under cover there would be less light and noise, the hill and berm would mitigate noise and light. The plan involves planting tees to the south of the plant to block off the mine. Q. watering piles to prevent dust? A. mines do water when needed but they also don’t want to cut down efficiency with hauling a higher percentage of water on the truck loads. It was expressed that the DNR has laid off personnel so the possibility of regulations being placed on sand companies is remote. There have been discussions with EOG but there is work to be done on water issues and shared property lines. Setbacks have to be made and each mine will have setbacks. The percentage of slope and setbacks from neighbors is 3 to 1.
Adjourn: Darrel Fehr made a motion to adjourn at 8:45 pm. Calvin Swartz seconded the motion. The motion carried 7-0.
Typed: June 18, 2015 Respectively Submitted
Approved: July 13, 2015 Victoria Trinko, town clerk