TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY
Special Town Board Meeting
April 14, 2016
The Special Town Board meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley was called to order on April 14, 2016 at the Cooks Valley town hall located at 15751 40th Street at 7:30 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr. Supervisors present were David Clements and Matt Borofka. Other town officials present were Victoria Trinko-clerk and Judith Prince-treasurer.
Review of EOG non-metallic mining permit with public comment: Dave Bokor, representative of EOG, reported production in terms of raw sand hauled out 48,283 tons and 16,087 tons hauled in. October 23, 2015 was the date of the last trucking of sand. The mine is still currently inactive and for the foreseeable future. There is a staff of 3-5 people at the mine to continue maintenance of the mine in terms of reclamation activity of riprap from 2015-2016, maintenance of small soil erosion in terms of riprap, grass matting and vegetation, a small crew for water trucks for watering as needed for dust control, and watering of grass matting. The matting touch-up by the water pond of the Johnson property will be when conditions become conducive to accomplish.
The air monitoring reports showed the 4 pm particles were 85% of the time below the EPA standards and the numbers correlated with the Eau Claire numbers collected on the same dates. The reports indicated that the health conditions of the area are unlikely to be affected by the air quality. Since EOG has fulfilled the permit requirements for air monitoring, the air monitoring is expensive, and the data has proven there is no health hazard impact; EOG is requesting approval from the DNR to remove the three air monitors and will place them in storage or use elsewhere. The air monitors will not be reinstalled unless a government agency requests them to be reinstalled. The clerk requested a copy of the air monitoring reports to place on the town website and for the town files.
In relation to the Johnson property, EOG went with an amendment in relation to storm water control plan project. EOG increased the capacity of the six ponds on the mine site and constructed two more ponds, one of which is off the mine site. The water quality standard is 40 milligrams per liter and if the water does not meet the standard, the water is recirculated back into the mine. The plan is to maintain the existing wetland and control the water discharge but not eliminate the water discharge. The large pond at the front of the property was designed to be a significant improvement on the capacity to contain storm water.
Mark Berge questioned the change in the plans from two ponds to one pond? How is it going to work? Answer: The water is allowed to sit for a while so the clay silt will settle out. The water is pumped back to the other pond for settling and not discharged until the level is 40 milligrams per liter. There is no requirement for the amount of discharge. Mark Berge would like a notification of the time and amount of discharge and would like a faster discharge rather than a slow discharge.
Mark Berge-How is the top soil being kept separate and is there a concern if anything will grow on it? Dave Bokor-there is no data about this matter. David Clements informed the group that the Ladysmith mine has been reclaimed with trees and brush with lower bluffs. This was reclaimed about 10-15 years ago. On the large hill, to the left of Denny Schindler’s house, native grasses were planted and has grasses growing.
Curly Zwiefelhofer questioned what EOG was going to do about his well? He has lived at this house for 30 years and has not had any problems with the water. Now the filters fill up every 4-5 days. The filters can not take care of the seepage of calcium and manganese which was shown on a video by a camera inserted into the well casing. After EOG started blasting, the walls and floors of the house have cracked and first sand and then calcium and manganese seeping into the well. Culligan can not take care of the problem. They have no water coming into their house and the deposits can not be blown out of the pipes. Dave Bokor felt EOG does not have responsibility for this problem as the Zwiefelhofer house lies outside of the boundaries set for blasting limits and there are no pictures of the walls and floors or testing of the well prior to the operation of the sand mine. Dave Bokor would like a copy of the video to show to people to determine what is happening and what is causing it.
Don Sarauer asked when EOG is going to redo the driveway? This can not be started while the bans are still on the road.
David Clements asked if Isaac Schindler has any problems with his well? Ans. Not as yet.
David Clements asked Mark Berge if there is a real dry year, would you have a problem of too little water? Mark: That would not be a problem; he just doesn’t like the two trenches caused by the slow release of water.
Darrel Fehr reported according to the EOG annual reclamation report the three monitoring wells on the Dennis Schindler mine had varying calcium levels: Well #1-18700 Well #2-10800 Well #3-18800.
Mark Berge said his well water is below the dissolved calcium average level.
David Clements suggested other people in the neighborhood or Town of Cooks Valley should have their wells tested to determine a baseline for their wells.
The board suggested residents attend the County conservation informational meeting open house on water study in Chippewa County at the Bloomer Middle School on April 20, 2016 starting with information by the team at 5:30 and the presentation at 7:00pm.
Comments: Darrel Fehr felt the new storage pond should accomplish the efforts of the storm water plan and address the water problem that occurred in 2014 if that amount of rainfall reoccurs.
There will not be a fence constructed around the new large store pond. There are not prescribed levels for separation. There will be matting and vegetation.
At this point, there is no data to indicate when dredging will be needed to remove sludge buildup. The bottom of the pond is 10 feet above the ground water level and is not lined but would have clay settlings.
Adjourn: Darrel Fehr made a motion to adjourn at 8:26 pm. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: April 17, 2016 Respectfully submitted
Approved: June 13, 2016 Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk