TOWN OF COOKS VALLEY
SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
September 17, 2013
A special town board meeting was called to order 7:30 pm by Chairman Darrel Fehr at the Cooks Valley Town Hall located at 15784 40th Street at 7:30 pm. Officers in attendance: Darrel Fehr-chairman, David Clements-supervisor, Victoria Trinko-clerk.
Review of Preferred Sands Non-Metallic Mining permit with public comment: Darrel Fehr opened the discussion by reading through the permit.
Victoria Trinko referred to the section concerning the absence of active mining. Preferred Sands has been actively mining since June 2013. There was discussion of the type of road for reconstruction and corners needing to be repaired. A commercial corner is needed to prevent rocks coming onto the town road and the corners breaking down coming from the property. There was discussion about the difference between an all season road vs. a regular road. Preferred Sands does not desire an all season road at this time. This will be clarified in a letter from Preferred Sands in response to a letter sent by the Chairman of the Town of Cooks Valley and Chippewa County. The Town of Cooks Valley would like their portion of the road started next spring 2014.
The Town of Cooks Valley has received a sound and light study from Preferred Sands.
Barb Arendt commented on the row of trees needing to be planted as agreed to in the permit. She felt this was not carried out or negotiated in good faith. Paul McLean said there has been miscommunication on which property the trees would be planted, who should be acquiring the bids and when the trees are going to be planted. Paul McLean of Preferred Sands replied that in his 15 years of working in the sand industry, he has never improved property that was not on the mining property but on private property. He had come into the discussion late when Brian of Preferred Sands had requested Barb Arendt to get quotations from nurseries on trees. Paul McLean said the existing tree line by Sam LaGesse’s house provides a buffer. These trees will not be removed for the time being. Trees will be planted on the mining property along the driveway by October 25, 2013. Barb Arendt said the strobes on the trucks at night were fixed; then the beeping of the trucks was back at night; and then they are fixed. This issue has not been totally resolved. The backhoe is not as noisy at night. Paul McLean said the education of personnel needs to be conducted more frequently for new employees as to the rules and conduct during hauling.
Paul McLean said the standards for dust control have changed due to Preferred Sands not constructing the dry plant on Highway 64. The DNR has inspected the mine for fugitive dust and Preferred Sands are compliant with the standards of dust control. The mine operators water more frequently when the wind fluctuates. The record keeping for watering and other activities are subject to inspection by the DNR. The Town of Cooks Valley does not have access to these records.
Supervisor Clements commented the industry is self-regulating and feels other people are not able to regulate the mines. The public is dependent upon the industry providing accurate information. Supervisor Clements feels an independent person should be on the mine site monitoring the activities for dust, noise, light, and water control. Paul McLean said the state does not require an independent person on the mine site.
So far there has been no off-site water discharge due to the rainfall this spring. They had water difficulties on the mine site but there was no off-site water discharge. There are two high capacity wells drilled but only one is being used. Question: When was the last testing of the acrylamide well? The county gets a copy of that report. The Town of Cooks Valley will request a copy of that report also.
There have complaints and acknowledgement of noise or the sensing of blasting in all directions from the mine. Preferred Sands said they have been within limits of the state standards with regards to blasting requirements.
There has been some reclamation but only slightly in the overburden. When the mine reaches the west boundary and turns back east, the reclamation will begin from the west to the east as room opens up. Fine sand will be placed into the hole. Air sampling will probably be started next year when all mines in the Town of Cooks Valley have been permitted.
Chairman Darrel Fehr will be allowed to inspect the Preferred Sands mine.
Rosemary Gehring asked if there was a way to prevent the blowing of sand off the stockpile as a relative has developed breathing problems.
Adjourn: John Sykora made a motion to adjourn the special town board meeting at 8:37 pm. David Clements seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0.
Typed: September 19, 2013 Respectfully submitted
Approved: November 11, 2013 Victoria Trinko -Town Clerk