Chairman Darrel Fehr called the meeting to order on January 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm. The supervisors present were: David Clements and John Sykora. Other officers present were: Victoria Trinko-Clerk and Judith A. Prince-treasurer. See attached list for delegation present.
Certification of proper posting for the scheduled town board meeting: The notice for the January town board meeting was duly posted on January 7, 2012 in the 3 designated places within the Town of Cooks Valley.
Public Comment: Jane Sonnentag arrived after the public comment and submitted a written comment a. cracks in house basement b. Erected buildings on Dennis Schindler’s property c. Trucks passing on a double yellow line c. Trucks operating during bus times d. Large equipment operating during fog e. Placement of children at play signs -see attached sheet.
Dan Masterpole-discussion on mining in the Town of Cooks Valley and surrounding area: Dan Masterpole, Dept. director of Land conservation and Forest Management for Chippewa County is in charge of managing non-metallic mining by administering reclamation plans for industrial sand mines. Seth Ebel, Project Engineer for Chippewa County Dept. of Land conservation and Forest Management gave a location review of the mines in the Town of Cooks Valley: Rogge Mine-mine permitted but not operational, LaGesse Mine, EOG Mine, Chippewa Sands Mine, Swinney Mine-not permitted as yet. He displayed a site specific map of the Chippewa Sand Mine as to the changes occurring since being permitted on May 10, 2011. There have been no substantial changes to the permit as yet. There 5 ground water monitoring wells, a screen wash plant on site and no blasting but rather excavating equipment. There are no requirements for ground water testing due the liners in the ponds. Q. Darrel Fehr- Can the liners tear while in use or during dredging. A. the liners were installed by professionals but will be monitored for tears while dredging or emptying the sediment ponds. There are storm water ponds on site to contain surface water and rain water. There are overflows so if there is a heavy rainfall [4 inches] it will not wash out the berm. Erosion control is in effect. Waste material [reject material], settlement sand and fine sand not uses at the plant are tested annually for nitrogen and ph. Each company must file an annual report with Chippewa County. All the soil stripped off to get at the desired sand needs to stay on site for reclamation and provide for productive agricultural row crop production and wild life habitat. This is the goal of reclamation at Chippewa Sands. Inspections of the mine sites are on a two week schedule. Q. Darrel Fehr-What are you looking for? A. We are checking the water- how much is in the ponds, excess capacity, erosion control around the perimeter, how the operation is working and the direction they are going. Dan Masterpole said the companies found they used more water than anticipated and problems of where to store it. Now they will focus on the reclamation process for usage looking at permanent grassland and wildlife habitat. Q. David Clements-How do you determine the bond value for restoration/reclamation? A. They determine the earthwork stockpiles, the amount of earth moved, and where it must be relocated for reclamation. They apply a dollar amount to the volume of earth, the ponds, the roads involved, and the distance of the earth moved. Q. David Clements-Can you adjust the bond? A. Companies set up a 5 year bond. The county can raise the bond value. There is not a bond for contamination catastrophes. Q. David Clements-How long do you let the mine sit nonproductive before reclamation. A. As long as they pay the permits it is considered productive and not subject to reclamation. Q. Beth Pagel-Where does the sludge go and what if it is contaminated? A. The sludge is dug and mixed with other soil and used in application for reclamation. There has been no contamination so far. They would need to mitigate the contamination with a chain of control on the sample for accuracy in testing the material. They may aerate the sand to break down the flocculant. Q. Victoria Trinko- Is there a specific plan for dealing with contamination? A. No, there is no specific plan. Q. David Clements-What is the concentration of acceptable flocculant? A. 5 parts for billion, the standards from the EPA. There is no testing of water at the mines at this time. The mines using flocculants must install liners in the ponds. Q. Beth Pagel-Are the mines using less water? A. Yes, they are recycling water, capturing water that flowed from the stacks and belt presses use less water. Q. David Clements Are they going through a lot of work and don’t have a permit from the town? A. Yes it does seem that way. Q. Victoria Trinko-Is the county developing more standards? A. Dan Masterpole replied he is not sure but the zoning dept. [Doug Clary] would be doing the standards.
EOG-there is no washing done at the site, they contain storm water run-off and are mixing overburden they can haul from another area, and they do blasting. Q. Jane Sonnentag- are they monitoring the water as far as the blasting affecting the water table, the water flow and the water level as their water pressure is lower in their barn? A. Monitoring is done every 3 months. Q. Jane -Do they have the ability to dig below the water table? A. Yes, they can dig below the water table. Q. Jane Sonnentag-If the water table drops, what action will they take? A. by installing the ground water monitoring wells, they will be able to determine if the level of water is dropping. There will be a stepped process toward a solution and try to sort it all out with all those involved. A ground level study is being done to see what the effects of mining and agricultural is having on the ground water. Q. Gene Pagel -What is the volume of applications? A. there are two mines in plan review, the Swinney proposal and one in the town of New Auburn, and the expansion of Superior Silica in the town of Auburn. Dan Masterpole anticipated that the mines that are here will move to consolidate their concerns and reserves. The rail access will control everything. New mines will have more work to do. He does not anticipate new applications but rather expansions of existing mines. Q. Can the public see the reports of testing? A. the public has access to the reports.
Darrel Fehr made a motion to move item 18 to item 5. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on ATV trails in the Town of Cooks Valley: Damien Prince, Charlie Parkhurst and Scott Decker presented a proposal and sample ordinance to open the roads in the town of Cooks Valley for access to ATV’s. They would do the signage. These are routes not trails. The Ordinance would designate the roads but the roads do not become a route until designated by signs. They would provide the different signs to designate the route. Hopefully, some residents of Cooks Valley would become members of the ATV club. The time of operation would be a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. This is to accommodate hunters traveling to and from their stands. The ordinance is uniform over the counties and with the DNR. The sheriff’s Dept. and the DNR will answer complaints. Darrel Fehr made a motion to post a draft for the ordinance for ATV with the word change to reflect the Town of Cooks Valley and an UTV definition. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on budget categories: no action was taken.
Approval of the December 10, 2012 regular monthly town board meeting minutes: John Sykora made a motion to approve the December 10, 2012 regular monthly town board meeting minutes. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Approval of the January financial report: David Clements made a motion to accept the January financial report. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0. The clerk reported the prepay check to the Chippewa County Highway Dept. was not on the statement and the general transportation aid check has been deposited but not reflected on the bank statement.
Reading and approval of the December bills: John Sykora made a motion to approve the December bills. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Building permits –no building permits
Discussion of concerns of the plan commission: Plan commission chairman Doug Zwiefelhofer reported there was no meeting of the plan commission in January but a February 6, 2013 meeting is planned with a possible quorum of the board present. He has had comments from residents relating to Chapter 14 building Permits about two categories-business at $5000.00 and residential at $1000.00
Discussion on progress of mining applications: Preferred Sands is complete. Trucking is going smoothly. EOG is in progress. Supervisor David Clements expressed dissatisfaction with the prolonged permitting process.
Discussion and possible action on ambulance reimbursement: no change in status; this item will be placed on next month’s agenda
Possible approval of operators applications: Darrel Fehr made a motion to approve the operators applications of Jessie Schrantz and Heather Strohkirch for Haymakers Bar & Grill. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 7 Lot Size: The wording would be changed from right of way to center line in section3 Lot Size C. Darrel Fehr made a motion to change the wording in Chapter 7 Lot Size from right of way to center line and post the draft in the 3 designated areas in the Town of cooks Valley. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 19 Non-Metallic Mining: John Sykora made a motion to post the draft of the change to Chapter 19 Non-Metallic Mining. Darrel Fehr seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 14 building Permits: no action was taken
Discussion and possible action on draft of Chapter 23 Schedule of Fees and Forfeitures: Darrel Fehr made a motion to post Chapter 23 Schedule of Fees and Forfeitures with the monetary changes in dog fees on page 2. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion of future road projects: Chairman Darrel Fehr reported the back end of 135th Avenue is in poor condition. Another possible project would be 186th Avenue-haul route. Further discussion on road projects will take place after road evaluation training with Dan Fedderly in February and the road evaluation committee report.
Discussion and possible action on snowplowing at the town hall: Chairman Darrel Fehr talked with Mark Clements about the snowplowing project. Mark Clements would do the snow plowing for $50.00/hour with the allowance of parking the endloader in the town garage. Darrel Fehr made a motion to hire Mark Clements to snowplow the town hall parking lot and recycling area. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 2-0. David Clements abstained.
Chairman’s report –
Dissemination of Information- clerks report-
Future agenda items and business:
Chairman Darrel Fehr shared the report for Preferred Sands concerning the amount of product removed from the mine site. This may be a new agenda item.
Discussion and possible action on budget categories
Discussion on progress of mining applications
Discussion and possible action on ambulance/fire reimbursement
Discussion and possible action on concerns pertaining to the Plan commission
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 7 Lot Size
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 19 Non-Metallic Mining
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 14 Building Permits
Discussion and possible action on Chapter 24 ATV Routes
Dissemination of information
The next meeting will be on Monday February 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Adjourn: David Clements made a motion to adjourn at 10:18 pm. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: January 11, 2013 Respectfully Submitted,
Approved: February 11, 2013 Victoria Trinko-town clerk