TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY
SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
The Special Town Board meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley was called to order on December 18, 2011 at the Cooks Valley town hall located at 15784 40th Street at 8:00 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr. Supervisors present were David Clements and John Sykora. Other town official present was Victoria Trinko-clerk. See attached list for delegation present.
Darrel Fehr made a motion to move item #4 to item #2 on the agenda. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Discussion and possible action on CD for road work: David Clements made a motion to place $50,000.00 from the checking account into a certificate of deposit for Fire/Ambulance and $50,000.00 from the checking account into a certificate of deposit for the maintenance of 186th Avenue and 60th Street north of State Highway 40. John Sykora seconded the motion.
Public Comment: Mark Berge commended Tom Maul, EOG, and John Behling for their cooperativeness and approachability. That being said, Mark Berge would like the town board to develop an agreement with provisions to maintain roads, recover money for reclamation, reimbursement for the decrease in land value, an independent firm to test all wells testing within ½ mile of the mine site, set up air monitors within a ¼ mile of the mine site, the clean up of contaminated water, and reimbursement for property owners not involved in sand mining but impacted by the mine site [ex.payment of property taxes].
Earl Hassemer suggested if EOG would sell out to another company that the agreement should not be transferable and the agreement would need to be renegotiated. He felt the town board should consider a moratorium while the agreement is being negotiated as is being done in other counties.
Scott Johnson related he had the same concerns as Mark Berge about dust control, air quality, surface and ground water quality, land value, esthetic value of the view from their property, and annual review of the permit to insure that all provisions are being abided by before signing for another year’s agreement.
Jane Sonnentag expressed concerns about the town having to bear the cost of fixing the road after the mine site has been closed. She related that the road is torn up from the trucks hauling to fix Dennis Schindler’s driveway and the hill needs to be cut down. She had concerns abut agricultural traffic on the road, bus routes and times of operation. She felt we need an ordinance to cover all the standards that are not covered in the agreement-standards for making a road and the width and extension of the road at the corner of 135th Avenue and County Highway DD. Dan Fedderly said the plans may have a 4-way stop sign; there will be discussions with the property owners in the area; and the amount of traffic and loading will determine the type of road being built.
Darrel Fehr commented that Dennis Schindler has the right to do what he wants with his property.
Heidi Freeberg commented that Dennis Schindler told the neighbors he would not be mining, then the mining started, the neighbors did not know this was happening and they have rights also.
The Town of Howard has a county road agreement as the mine site in the Town of Howard is not on a town road and that is why they have a different agreement. The Town of Howard has a separate agreement on other issues because they have a licensing ordinance.
Earl Hassemer acknowledged that mining people have rights but the other 600+ people in the township have rights that need protection also.
David Clements felt people should have attended the meetings from the onset of the mining issue as this issue was imminent and would eventually be affecting all the residents within the township.
Scott Johnson felt elected officials have the responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents in the township.
Attorney John Behling of EOG felt the existing road is not safe now and EOG would make the road safer and better than the existing road.
Earl Hassemer explained that the trucks hauling all summer in and out of Buchner’s mine site had no special permits from the county to haul on a county road. Trucks that were hauling sand to the mine site were stopped by the Sheriff’s Dept and were unable to keep hauling.
Heidi Freeberg questioned the term ‘traffic control’ in #4 in the Right of Way Agreement and #5 ‘keeping maintenance despite all other traffic’. Attorney John Behling said EOG would be on the hook for the maintenance of all traffic.
Earl Hassemer asked Attorney Glenn Stoddard [via speaker phone] if the town could implement a moratorium. Glenn Stoddard explained the town could do a moratorium but it may be challenged and the mining concerns in place may not be affected by the moratorium.
Question- Do we have to maintain a road? It would be costly if the road has to be maintained by the town for safety issues. According to the state statutes, the town must maintain roads.
Chairman Darrel Fehr made a motion to go into closed session at 9:14 pm to discuss competitive and bargaining issues in regard to the EOG contract. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Darrel Fehr made a motion to go into open session at 10:30 pm. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0. A memorandum from EOG was discussed in the closed session.
Discussion of EOG negotiations, options, and possible postponement of the scheduled meeting on December 20, 2011: There was discussion of the concerns of citizens vs. concerns of EOG.
There was a discussion of lights, decibel noise level, air monitoring, the target amount of 50,000 tons of sand hauled weekly, [EOG provides monthly tonnage reports to the Town of Howard].
John Sykora questioned,” How much hauling would be done prior to the beginning of the road construction?” Tom Maul of EOG felt perhaps a couple of months prior to construction, there would be trucking on the existing road.
There was a proposal of a possible complaint review quarterly, air monitoring and monitoring of the construction of the road.
Adjourn: David Clements made a motion to adjourn at 10:57 pm. John Sykora seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: December 19, 2011 Respectfully submitted
Approved: January 9, 2012 Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk