PLAN COMMISSION MEETING
Town of Cooks Valley
May 2, 2012
Chairman Doug Zwiefelhofer called the plan commission meeting to order at 7:31 pm on Wednesday May 2, 2012 at the Cooks Valley Town Hall [15784 40th Street]. Members of the plan commission present at the May 2, 2012 meeting were: Doug Zwiefelhofer, Arlene Hintzman, Scott Johnson, Carol M. Clements, and Thomas Short. Tom Short recused himself from the plan commission meeting as he may have an interest in the outcome of the negotiations with Chippewa Sands. There was an introduction of the plan commission members and the town attorney. There was an introduction of the Chippewa Sands representatives and their attorney.
Public Comment: There was no public comment.
Discussion and possible negotiations between the Town of Cooks Valley plan commission and the Chippewa Sands mining company: There was a review of Monday night’s meeting reiterating the concerns from the citizens and the ruling of Supreme Court to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens. Town attorney Glenn Stoddard gave an explanation of the permitting process with Preferred Sands and development agreement EOG had with the Town of Howard and that EOG wanted to do the same development agreement with Town of Cooks Valley. He explained that EOG came to the meeting with a proposal while Preferred Sands went through the permit to reach a proposal. Chippewa Sands indicated they would prefer go through the permitting process and place conditions into the permit.
The plan commission and representatives of Chippewa Sands reviewed Preferred Sands’ permit.
Chippewa Sands expressed their concerns about the testing of wells where they referenced Wisconsin Statute 281.77 Damage to water supplies– there were provisions as to who contaminated the well, of people allowing or not allowing the well testing and the process of proving the source of contamination and replacement of wells. There was discussion on the proving the entity of how/ who did the contaminating. There was discussion of EOG’s water testing proposal. Chippewa Sands will come up with language for testing wells. Scott Johnson indicated the oversight and enforcement of the mining permit should be at the township level. The discussion turned to local vs. state level and Attorney Glenn Stoddard stated we cannot relax county, state a federal regulations, the Town of cooks Valley can enforce tighter controls.
#1 annual review with the board and possible revocation of the permit. Chippewa Sands proposed an issuance of a 30 year permit and while everything is going well it will be renewed. The Town of Cooks Valley plan commission wants to keep an annual review for five years because as personalities of the company and board may change, the meetings will build a memory of what has happened in the past, what is happening presently, how to address the review, and how revocations or modifications will be dealt with.
Discussion #2 #3 –seemed satisfactory
2.1-D Chippewa Sands would like an expansion of hours of trucking to match Preferred Sands operating hours of 6 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday to spread out the volume of product with the trucks and they could operate more trucks if needed. It was agreed upon the trucking hours would be from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm with only special circumstances allowing hauling until 10:00 pm.
#7 Chippewa Sands intends to submit a list of the materials to be used in the reclamation plan.
#8 ground water Chippewa Sands will come back with a plan for ground water monitoring to insert into the permit rather than submit a proposal.
It was agreed to have a review of the permit annually for 5 years and every 5 years thereafter with a $200.00 fee for each renewal.
#15 in the event of revocation, the permit is not valid and reclamation must begin right away. That contingency is covered in the reclamation plan filed with Chippewa County. A clarification of inactivity in #17 will be given by Chippewa Sands to the town board.
#19 was satisfactory.
#20 The town attorney’s fees will be covered by Chippewa Sands for the permitting process.
A review was conducted of Preferred Sands’ light and noise mitigation proposal and EOG’s proposal. Chippewa Sands was agreeable to installing white noise for trucks instead of the standard beep-beep alarm.
Section E-property value protection plan- A suggestion was put forward of Chippewa Sands dealing with the land owner directly or getting first refusal rather than a modification placed into the permit. The town is trying to protect the property rights, values, and what property owners are able to do with their property. The mining is like a nuisance coming to them and causing a nuisance. The plan commission wants language that is clear to protect the ones who are there. The property value protection would only apply to one owner. That owner has the choice to put up with what is there or decide to move. Scott Johnson, plan commission member, stated the Town of Cooks Valley must insure property value protections that include a maximum market time for the property of 180 days; similar to the Town of Howard; after 180 days, the mine company must purchase the property at fair market value. He stated that when his home was on the market, interested parties declined showings when they were made aware that our property was adjacent to the mine. Chippewa Sands will return with some language dealing with property value that is reasonable for the land owners.
#fugitive dust –Chippewa Sands are not required to use air monitors in their reclamation plan as their levels were below the threshold at the state standards. Chippewa Sands volunteered to place air monitors at the dry plant with monitoring for two years. Permanent water trucks at the mine site, watering the stockpiles on a windy days, reducing the stockpiles, placement of evergreen trees on the berm and driveway, and placement of trees at neighbors’ residences will be addressed in a proposed plan.
David Clements asked how are Chippewa Sands going to determine the dust level remains below the threshold of the state standard that does not require air monitors if conditions change like dry weather?
The Conservation Dept. has to be informed of the volume of sand going in and out of the mine site. Chippewa Sands agreed to carbon copy to the Town of Cooks Valley the report sent to the Conservation Dept. regarding the type of test sand that would be hauled in to the mine site. Chippewa Sands can not have more material in their mine site than what was originally there.
Chippewa Sands agreed to maintain a decibel 60 dba at the property boundaries.
GPS in the trucks: Two of the three companies have agreed to place GPS in their trucks. Durand Trucking is tight on the restrictions of their drivers. There was discussion of who would be monitoring the GPS and where would the calls be directed. A suggestion was made of the placement of a company identification number on each truck to make identification of the truck easier and a number to call directly to the mine instead of calling the DNR or other enforcement agency for possible violations.
With the installation of rubber liners in the retention ponds, Chippewa Sands is using less water than they anticipated. This was the response when asked how much water is pumped from their high capacity wells.
To implement blasting there would have to be a new permit. Chippewa Sands would be open to language regarding blasting in the permit.
Scott Johnson made a motion to recommend to the town board a conditional permit similar to that of Preferred Sands consistent with the discussion we had this evening and noting the company will be drafting language for consideration by the town board. Arlene Hintzman seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Typed: May 6, 2012 Victoria Trinko Town Clerk