TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY
Special Town Board Meeting
February 12, 2018
The Joint Meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley board/Plan Commission informational meeting was called to order on February 12, 2018 at the Cooks Valley Town Hal (15751 40th Street) at 7:25 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr. Supervisors present were David Clements and Matt Borofka and plan commission members Doug Zwiefelhofer, Tom Short, Calvin Swartz and Stanley Sarauer. Other town officials present were Victoria Trinko-clerk and Judith Prince-treasurer. See attachment for attendees.
Discussion between Town of Cooks Valley board, Town of Cooks Valley Plan Commission, and Chippewa Sand concerning Chippewa Sands proposed expansion: Matthew Heath, Health-Safety-Environmental Manager, showed the map of the entire mine expansion of 1085 acres. The reasons for expansion 1 storm water issue-all the water has to be kept on the mine site which has inhibited reclamation; 2. provide more mining area and product; 3. increase efficiency of soil storage. Chippewa Sands is not changing their technique of ripping but have placed the option of drilling and blasting in the new reclamation plan. There will be no additional high capacity wells; 960 acres where mining extraction will take place; the other land will be for stockpiling sand and soil, with haul roads.
The storm water system will be using an infiltration pond system and go back to the natural ground process. There will be three settling ponds combined with water filter grass swales, then four more ponds, then down a grassy swale to County Highway A. The water system was designed for a two year-24 hour event containment. Test pits will be used to measure the depth of top soil in all sections of the mine site to determine the amount of top soil for replacement and additional soil needed for reclamation. A natural-like setting is the plan for the final reclamation site. The reclamation plan is divided into shades for contours with the northern boundary having steeper high angle sloops. The area known as the round hill is to be reclaimed this spring. Reclaiming will be in a progressive fashion with natural rolling sloops, water ways, wild life habitat and recreational land. The elevation of the area to be reclaimed will be at its present height, black dirt placed on it, seeded down and completed this spring in a 3:1 slope. The stumps at the bottom of the area will be separated out and used for erosion control in other areas of the mine site before being reclaimed. The wash plant will remain in the same place. Consideration for moving sand from the western and eastern sections will be by trucks or conveyor. There will be one or two haul roads with the other roads being reclaimed. Chippewa Sands wants to reduce the open acreage due to the amount of the financial bond to the County. Matthew Heath stated there are 32 acres open. Reclamation of the round hill will be on the south side only as the north side has water storage. Processed water will be contained in the loop. They plan to reclaim the area in front of the high wall on the prepared to be ripped eastern area but leave an area behind the reclaimed area so they are able to mine the into the high wall. This is the phase two area. Phase 3 and 4 of the old plan are presently being mined.
Will the water from the infiltration ponds and grassy swales go through a culvert before going under County Highway A? The natural flow of the water will be on grass, not through a culvert, until going under County Highway A.
The two present ponds will be reclaimed and other ponds will be installed.
Chairman Darrel Fehr stated the board will be asking to see reclamation [green grass growing] before allowing Chippewa Sands to expand into other areas.
Stanley Sarauer, plan commission member, questioned Matt Heath- if the expansion permit is not approved, will Chippewa Sands be reclaiming the round hill and the western side 2 and 3? Matthew Heath said they need to control the storm water to hold the reclaimed area. Bonding question-if the county inspects and okays the reclaimed area, then a rain washes it out, do you have to put the area on the bond again? Matthew Heath said he would have to ask the County about that issue.
Chairman Fehr stated the board would like to have more testing on the wells and the material coming from the plant. He would like to see it mixed in better and spread out further. Also he would like Chippewa Sands to test for heavy metals and flocculants twice a year with a yearly report available to the public.
Doug Zwiefelhofer, plan commission chairman, asked about the statement of pretreatment to water coming from the high capacity well. Matthew Heath said the pretreatment was flocculants.
Various members agreed testing of residential wells should be done within a ½ mile radius if Chippewa Sands wants to do blasting and the establishment of a $100,000 bond if the blasting does damage to residential wells, which would then need to be repaired.
Darrel Fehr stated tires need to be washed before leaving the mine site as there is dust on the roads and along the curbs on the side of road from sand falling off the tires and trucks. Matthew Heath said the sweeper truck has been cleaning the road and needs to refurbished but Chippewa Sands will do a better job on that issue. Matthew Heath said the problem with washing the tires is that more processed water will need to be put back into the ponds thereby using more water and creating more processed water.
The truck traffic will remain about the same as presently being hauled but members of the board and plan commission noted Chippewa Sands has placed 24 hour hauling in the new reclamation plan.
Doug Zwiefelhofer asked Jeff Buchner if he was farming on the other side of the waterways? Jeff Buchner stated some of the land is in the CREP program and hay ground in the triangle between the mined areas.
Darrel Fehr asked if they would mine through the springs? Matthew Heath said the ground water is below where they are mining but if ground water comes up; they will consult with their consultants. He was not aware of the presence of springs in the area.
Public Comment with possible limit to three (3) minutes per person: Beth Pagel requested Matthew Heath to outline the entire area contained in the first plan. Victoria Trinko asked if there will be a storm water system in place in the eastern section of the new reclamation plan to deal with the wetlands and flow under County Highway A onto her farm. Matthew Heath stated there will be a storm water system.
Adjourn: David Clements made a motion to adjourn at 8:50 pm. Matt Borofka seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: February 13, 2018 Respectfully submitted
Approved: Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk