Town of Cooks Valley

Regular Town Board Meeting

February 17, 2014

Chairman Darrel Fehr called the meeting to order on February 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm.   The supervisors present were
John Sykora and David Clements.   Other officers present were:  Victoria Trinko-Clerk and Judith A. Prince-treasurer.  See the attached list for delegation present.
Certification of proper posting for the scheduled town board meeting: The notice for the February town board meeting was duly posted on February 3, 2014 in the 3 designated places within the Town of Cooks Valley. 
Public Comment:  There was no public comment.
Discussion and possible action on budget categories:  no action was taken.
Approval of the January 13, 2014 regular monthly town board meeting minutes:  David Clements made a motion to approve and place on file the January 13, 2014 town board minutes.  John Sykora seconded the motion.  The motion carried 3-0. 
Reading by the Treasurer of the January financial report:  The ending check book balance was $120,254.79 as of January 31, 2014.  The total cash assets for the Town of Cooks Valley were $335,773.16.
Reading and approval of the January bills:  David Clements made a motion to approve the January bills.  John Sykora seconded the motion.  The motion carried 2-0.   
Building permits:  No requests for building permits.
Discussion of concerns pertaining to the plan commission: No action was taken.
Dr. Crispin Pierce-UW-Eau Claire-air quality monitoring proposal –Dr. Crispin Pierce presented a proposal to conduct an air quality monitoring study in the Town of Cooks Valley to offer students experience in understanding monitoring of air quality and interpreting data , collect data to submit to the DNR and EPA, and provide information to the residents of the community about the quality of the air in the Town of Cooks Valley.  Dr. Pierce and his colleague Jim Boulter emphasized they are neither pro or con about sand mining but want to give people information about the quality of the air in the Town of Cooks Valley to either take measures if the quality needs to be improved or to alleviate concerns of citizens about the contents of the air in the township.  To determine a consistent long term air quality sample, a station will be constructed off-site to collect data for 24 hours on a six day interval.  They will collect and analyze a particle based filter for PM2, PM10 and crystalline silica levels in each of particle sizes.  The team will provide monthly reports of all the measurements to the Town of Cooks Valley.  The filters are contained in a $25,000.00 machine and then the particles are sent to the R.J. LEE group who will analyze the results and share the literature with other scientists and other townships.  Students from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout will be involved and gain knowledge and background in this area which will aid them in their acquisition of a job.  Wisconsin does not have a standard level for silica as we are not there yet.  Question:  Where would the instruments be placed?  Ans.:  Dr. Pierce suggested the location should be close as possible to a mine site with electrical access.  It was proposed that the closest location would be on John Sykora’s property with more than 30 ft. from any buildings.  John Sykora would be compensated for the electrical usage.  David Clements questioned, “Is there a fund for the testing?  Ans: As Dan Masterpole of the Land Conservation Dept. has a fund for testing of water from the industries’ contributions for a five year study, so has Dr. Pierce presented a proposed budget of $10,000 for a one year project which is in agreement with the sand companies’ permit where the companies agreed to provide funding for air monitoring.  If the study is acceptable to all parties involved, they would like to continue for two more years. . The EPA’s recognized set of standards is the third step for this study.  Protocol for gathering particles, a signed or controlled chain of documentation as required by the EPA will be followed by Dr. Pierce, Jim Boulter and the students.   As the sand companies want non-biased information, Dr. Pierce and Jim Boulter will be submitting the sample to the same company that analyzes for the sand companies so this would be collaboration with a non-biased company. Jim Boulter related other companies are submitting data to the DRN an then submitting it to the DNR website, which gives people more access to information.  Dr. Pierce and Jim Boulter are willing to talk with the representatives of the companies to explain the study to them.  All the mining companies are meeting the requirements of the permits in reporting of materials and monitoring required by the permits and reclamation plan. 
Dan Masterpole/ Seth Ebal-land conservation office: This is the second year the land conservation office has attended town meetings and informed people about the process and progress of mine sites.  There are ten permitted mines [eleven counting Loran Zwiefelhofer’s mine where there is no activity] in the County.    Five mines are very active.  The Rogge mine is permitted but not active and there is no action with Chesapeake.  Seth Ebal/Dan Masterpole displayed charts of resource water which provide good clean water.  An aerial photo from 2013 showed expansion of Chippewa Sands to the north and east, LaGesse’s mine went west and north and will go back to the east.  There are 7 monitoring wells on the LaGesse mine and four monitoring wells on Chippewa Sands mine.  The water at the LaGesse mine flows north while the Chippewa Sands water flows south and west.  The DS Mine has three monitoring wells but no high capacity wells.  Flow of water in the DS mine is from north on the mine site to the south.  Rainfalls were varying from the SS mine to the DS mine to the Eau Claire official station for monitoring the level of rainfall.  The first pumping at Chippewa Sands was nine million gallons to fill the ponds.  Approximately 30 million gallons have been pumped totally from the mines.  There has been little or no impact on the ground water level.  The companies would like the moisture content of 4% when hauling sand.  Water is lost in the transfer of sand, soaking into the ground or evaporation.  No testing has indicated any polyacrylamide in the ground water at Superior or Preferred Sands.  The DS mine is probably 10 feet above ground water level whereas Chippewa Sands and Preferred Sands are at the 50 feet above ground water level.  Question:  Who does the testing?  Washington State labs do the testing for some of the companies.  Some labs do testing for chloroform, fecal matter and nitrates.  Naphthalene, diesel fuel or oil petroleum based chemicals are also being tested by some companies.  The DS Mine is managing storm water ponds.  They had some problems but have fixed the berm. The Land Conservation office will start two week inspections in the spring.  This is a likely time for regulatory inspections to be increased to 3-4 day cycles.  The Land Conservation office has started reclamation plans at Superior Sands with the UW River Falls students doing test plots in the planting of shrubs, trees and replacing bedrock.  The bedrock will be different so test plots are needed to determine which plants will thrive in the new ground.  Chippewa Sands will be attempting reclamation in the next year.  Bonds for reclamation vary within the companies:  3 million dollars-Chippewa Sands, about 1 million-dollars-Preferred Sands, and 4.65 million dollars-EOG.  Companies report the amount of material hauled in and out of the mines.  Question:  Is there monitoring of ground water?  There are monitoring stations which measure the depth, flow through stream and temperature of the creeks in the Town of Cooks Valley.  There will be a presentation, similar to last year’s meeting, at the Bloomer Middle School on March 18, 2014 concerning the study of water in Chippewa County.  This is a continuation of the five year study. 
Possible Approval of operators license applications:  John Sykora made a motion to accept the license applications from the Bloomer Rod & Gun club of Jack Christensen, Justin Swartz and Cary Lueck.  David Clements seconded the motion.  The motion carried 3-0. 
Chairman’s report –Fire Dept- Denny Schindler-smoke house fire.  Mine Road: The road project for 186th Avenue is moving forward with the letting of bids this next month for a seasonal road.  The WTA meeting gave information on bill 349 where most items have been eliminated except towns could not stop the operation of existing mines.  Information on culverts. 
Dissemination of Information- clerk’s report-

Future agenda items and business:
Discussion and possible action on budget categories
Building permits
Discussion on progress of mining applications
Discussion and possible action on concerns pertaining to the Plan commission
Letter to county administrator about bill 349
Chairman’ report
Dissemination of information
Future agenda items:
 EOG annual review meeting between 31st of March and April 4, 2014
Semi-annual meeting fire/ambulance March 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm.
Special meeting March 25, 2014 discussion and possible action on Dr. Crispin Pierce’s proposal on air monitoring and/or other proposals on air monitoring at 7:30 pm
The next meeting will be Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Adjourn:  David Clements made a motion to adjourn at 10:13 pm.  John Sykora seconded the motion.  The motion carried 3-0.                  
Typed:  February 22, 2014                                                         Respectfully Submitted,
Approved:  March 19, 2014                                                       Victoria Trinko-town clerk