TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY
JOINT SPECIAL TOWN MEETING OF THE COOKS VALLEY TOWN BOARD AND THE TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY PLAN COMMISSION
The joint special meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley Board and the Town of Cooks Valley Plan Commission was called to order on March 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm at the Cooks Valley town hall located at 15784 40th Street at 2:30 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr. Supervisors present were David Clements and John Sykora. Other town officials present were Victoria Trinko-clerk and Judith A Prince-treasurer. Plan Commission members present: Doug Zwiefelhofer, Carol M. Clements, Thomas Short, and Arlene Hintzman. See attached list for delegation present. Chairman Darrel Fehr stated the purpose of the meeting is to discuss how the town is going to proceed with the ordinance process and the scheduling of meetings.
Doug Zwiefelhofer commented that at the last meeting attorney Glenn Stoddard had suggested the town negotiate with the operating mine companies and schedule meetings.
Attorney Glenn Stoddard offered background information: All the mining company representatives were present and a letter had been submitted by David LaGesse. The letter from David LaGesse and one from Dan Masterpole, Land Conservation Dept., reported an application and reclamation plan for 5 acres had been submitted by David LaGesse on Nov. 11, 2008. The ordinance was signed on December 17, 2008. The town clerk noted that the amended ordinance was signed on December 17, 2008; however, the original ordinance was adopted on July 14th, 2008. This topic will be discussed at a future scheduled meeting.
Applications have been received from Preferred Sands, EOG, and Chippewa Sands. The purpose of the scheduled meeting today was to set up future meetings after the applications were submitted. Glenn Stoddard spoke for himself and the town board in appreciation of the cooperation of the mining companies in submitting bids. The most sensible way of scheduling would take the applications as presented and schedule separate meetings with each mining company. Copies of the applications from the mining companies need to be sent to the adjoining land owners. This step has been completed by the town clerk for each mining application. The next step is the placement of public notices. These submitted applications will be treated differently from subsequent applications for permits as these mining concerns are currently in operation. There will be public comment prior to other discussions and negotiations, along with a public hearing and informational gathering. The Town of Cooks Valley has the authority to enter into a developmental agreement along with the mining ordinance. An example may be the issuance of a permit that would spell out conditions in a development agreement with an extended agreement on time instead of an annual permit. Impact payments that are costing the Town of Cooks Valley additional money could be addressed in the development agreement. While an open-ended process is utilized on how we will proceed with the mining companies that are in operation, consideration must be given to the town people being impacted by these mining companies.
Darrel Fehr- re. Impact monies- How do you approach asking the mining companies for money? Glenn Stoddard-The Town of Cooks Valley would go through a negotiation process to develop the impact monies through a development agreement.
The operating mining companies, the town board, and town people are cognizant of the ordinance and know the impacts of the mining on the town and the people living in the town.
Darrel Fehr-Can all the development agreements be different as mining companies are doing different processes? Glenn Stoddard-The development agreements can be different but each cannot be treated differently in the same processes incorporated within the ordinance.
Glenn Stoddard asked for comments from the mining companies:
Preferred Sands-Paul McLean-He sees no reason to not being able to accomplish a variance or go through the process to reach an agreement.
Glenn Stoddard: Each Company has a unique situation for reaching an agreement.
Arlene Hintzman-Why can’t we go through the ordinance and reach an agreement?
Glenn Stoddard: The town can reach an agreement and permit through the ordinance, but the town has flexibility under the ordinance to allow for particulars and possible allowance for a development agreement.
Jane Sonnentag: Would the road agreements still be in effect that were put in place prior to the ruling on the validity of the ordinance?
Glenn Stoddard: To protect the town and the residents of the town, the town board negotiated a road agreement while the ordinance was under review by the courts.
Jane Sonnentag: I feel there is a need to readdress the road agreement as it seemed to have been hurried through. We have lived with the road agreement, with pot holes, and road repair.
Glenn Stoddard: The town can not open the road agreements unilaterally now that the ordinance has been ruled valid. The companies will want certainty with the permits. With minor expansion they would want a permit that would cover them.
David Clements: I think the town does not want and open-ended agreement on all expansion.
Al Pfeiffer: I would like to ask the companies if they need to expect to come back for a permit.
Tom Maul-EOG- Any expansion would have to go through Chippewa County for a county reclamation permit.
Paul McLean-Preferred Sands-He would prefer an amendment for the acreage that is in the permit and for what expansion would be done instead of a full-blown application. He explained that within a 230 acre reclamation plan there is a 146 acre extraction limit due to the geology and property lines.
Glen Stoddard: There needs to be a differentiation between the public discussion on the agenda and the item on the agenda indicating negotiation between the town board and mining companies. During negotiations, the delegation may listen but not comment.
Glenn Stoddard: It is reasonable to ask the mining companies if they could live with the conditions of the permit and not enter into a negotiation. However, through a development agreement, there can be more negotiations. We need to listen to all interested parties and then move forward.
Darrel Fehr: Suggested the public come with written suggestions that can be addressed during negotiations so concerns will not be missed.
Glenn Stoddard: Emphasized that the requested restrictions or concerns from the public should be specific in their content.
Jane Sonnentag: Could we ask for more safety restriction in the road development agreement? She realizes that she needs to deal with Chippewa County in regards to where her residence is located.
Designs from Dan Fedderly to EOG are due in Mid-April.
Jane Sonnentag. Would she be able to have conditions attached to the road development agreement and permit after she sees the designs submitted by Dan Fedderly?
Glenn Stoddard-When the permits are agreed upon, issues will be addressed.
Gene Pagel: Is the town obligated to let other mines use the roads due to permits already approved as other properties are acquired or other properties obtain reclamation permits.
Glenn Stoddard: The town has the right to protect the town and the people to minimize the negative impacts.
Darrel Fehr: Let’s move to the scheduling of meetings.
Glenn Stoddard: This process should not be rushed. We must allow the gathering of information, reviewing the information and pubic input. We should overdo the process to allow for public input.
Paul McLean felt he needed time to develop visual aids for a presentation illustrating Preferred Sands’ operation.
Glenn Stoddard suggested an order of having the mining company present their information, then public comment, then move into discussion with the mining company and the board. A second meeting would be scheduled that would develop a proposal for the town board after attorney Glenn Stoddard, a town representative, and the mining companies have had time to review the information.
Darrel Fehr suggested a tour of the mines by the plan commission and town board prior to the scheduled meetings.
Proposed schedule of Plan Commission meetings:
Preferred Sands: Monday April 16, @ 2:45 pm-plan commission and tour board tour at 4621 186th Avenue
Monday April 16, 2012 @ 7:30 pm -plan commission meeting at the Cooks Valley Town Hall
Wednesday April 18, 2012 @ 7:30 pm-plan commission meeting at the town hall with Glenn Stoddard attending
EOG: Tuesday April 10, 2012 plan commission and town board tour @ 2:45 pm at 13880 20th Street
Tuesday April 10, 2012 @ 7:30 pm –plan commission meeting at the Cooks Valley Town Hall. THIS MEETING WILL NEED TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO CONFLICT WITH THE TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY ANNUAL MEETING.
Tuesday April 24, 2012 @ 7:30 pm plan commission meeting at the Cooks Valley town hall with attorney Glenn Stoddard attending
Chippewa Sands: Monday April 30th, 2012 @ 2:45 pm Tour of mine site by plan commission members and town board at 3184 County Highway A
Monday April 30, 2012 @ 7:30 pm plan commission meeting at the Cooks Valley town hall.
Wednesday May 2, 2012 @ 7:30 pm plan commission meeting at the
Cooks Valley town hall with attorney Glenn Stoddard attending.
Proposed agenda for the plan commission meetings.
Call to order
Presentation by the mining company
Discussion and possible negotiations between the plan commission and mining companies
Recap: At the end of the April 18, 2012, April 24, 2012 and May 2nd, 2012 meetings, the plan commission will have a final draft and any conflicts will be worked out at the end of this discussion. In other words, at the end of each second meeting of each mining company, the plan commission will have a recommendation on a permit concerning that particular mining company for the town board. Then the town board will have a meeting to decide the permit of each company with a public hearing prior to the meeting. Glenn Stoddard recommended tape recoding the public hearing.
In the question of lawyer fees, this concern and other fees may be included in the permitting process.
Adjourn: Darrel Fehr made a motion to adjourn at: 4:07 pm. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 9-0.
Typed: March 29, 2012 Respectfully submitted
Approved: April 9, 2012 Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk