The Special Town Board meeting of the Town of Cooks Valley was called to order on September 21, 2015 at the Cooks Valley town hall located at 15751 40th Street at 7:30 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr. Supervisor present were David Clements and Matt Borofka. Other town official present was Victoria Trinko-clerk. See attached attendance list.
Review of Preferred Sand Non-Metallic Mining Permit with public comment: Dan Wicka, representative for Preferred Sands out of the Blair site, stepped in at Bloomer site for Paul McLean. At this point, Preferred Sands is done washing for the season and will remain idle throughout the winter. The oil prices have driven down the demand for sand. The DNR was at the mine last week to check on water and air monitoring and all were okay. No possible trucking at this time but could not say when it would commence as there is no washed sand to send. But Preferred Sands has washed sand to sell. The off set sand is getting ready for temporary seeding to be growing in the spring. It was estimated the mine is a year away from permanent reclamation. There is about 100 feet to the south left to mine and then will hook around to the east. There is no 100% reclamation at this point but they may make the slope less than it is right now. In the foreseeable future, there will be no mining to the west. Chairman Darrel Fehr commented they are keeping the road washed off and sweeping the sand. Victoria Trinko observed a Preferred Sands truck did not have the load covered on July 29, 2015. There was no speculation of the extent of duration of the mine. There was discussion of planting of trees on the berm and property lines. They will continue to have people on site to monitor the dust and water. A maintenance shed was constructed for equipment and maintenance of trucks and spare parts. Dan Wicka will be the contact person for any problems such as washouts or culverts. There was a landowners meeting last Friday and there were no problems at this time.
Review of Chippewa Sands Non-Metallic Mining permit with public comment –approximately 8:00 pm: At 7:44, Steve Schimmel, representative for Chippewa Sands, informed the board that currently Chippewa Sands mining is in phase two with about 4 weeks of washing left. The round hill is 60-65% reclaimed and the southeast face has top soil and is seeded with a 3-4:1 slope. They will continue to cover with clay, then pressed in sand and then clay, completing with overburden and finally top soil until completion. Then they will work with UW-River Falls [who would like about 5 acres to work with] and plant grass for now. Plans are to plant a variety of trees-including fruit and poplar. Q. Where will you be mining next? Steve Schimmel displayed a map of the mine indicating where they have mined and the area left to be possibly mined. They built internal ponds to hold water from rainfall and pump the water up to the ponds. The mine floor is 40 ft. above the water table. Water comes out of the hill between the clay and tunnel city layer. 176 acres is included in the mining permit but not close to half of it has been mined, however, that 176 acres includes the road and plant. SEH laid out the mine formation according to an equal amount of sand in each of the five sections. There were 650,000 tons of finished product last year and are at that level this year and about in 3-4 years at that rate, it would be mined out. This was an estimate. Land conservation and DNR have other considerations if there are any expansion plans. They press the slurry so the water comes out and those dried blocks go back into the reclamation. These are tested for the percentage of acrylamide. Trucking occurs 3-4 days a week now and they will keep that plan to go all winter with the sand that is stockpiled and hauled to the dry plant. Only the sand hauled from the mine goes back to the mine. EOG may buy 100 mesh sand. Victoria Trinko commented that the sand was blowing off the piles in a tornado-like shape all day on July 29, 2015 with no signs of watering, even though people were present at the mine and the trucks were not hauling. People are in the mine 5 days a week.
Adjourn: David Clements made a motion to adjourn at 8:20 pm. Matt Borofka seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: September 22, 2015 Respectfully submitted
Approved: October 19, 2015 Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk