Town of Rock Hears Reclamation Plan for Frac Sand Mine

A Public Hearing was held January 7 in the Town of Rock regarding the Reclamation Plan for the proposed frac sand mine to be located on the corner of County Road V and MacArthur Drive. The plan was approved by Wood County after some revisions.

Tracy Arnold, Conservation Program Coordinator at the Land & Water Conservation Department of Wood County, and County Conservationist Shane Wucherpfennig led the presentation.

The sand mine has not yet been approved. The reclamation plan concerns landscape improvements as mining is completed in fourteen phases on the property.

From the mine site, an 88 acre open water recreational lake will be formed on the 173.5 acre site, 122 acres of which will be excavated over 12-20 years based on market conditions.

Coulee Frac is paying to have the highway department recondition County V to state highway conditions to handle wear and tear from truck loads. Trucks will travel north a mile on County V, turn right on Highway 10, and then proceed to Marshfield.

A high capacity well will be placed on the property as part of the wash plant construction in the event that surface water withdrawal isn’t enough for sand processing will it be used. If needed, a permit from the DNR is required, then submitted to Wood County. Owners of potable wells within a quarter mile of the site are offered groundwater testing.

Excavation and washing will occur April to November and hauling, all year long.

Representatives from Coulee Frac stated that while it wasn’t part of the Reclamation Plan, they would like to meet with Town of Rock residents to get an idea of how they would like the lake developed beyond a mere wetland area. Features could include picnic tables, shelters, a boat ramp, bike paths, and more to make the area like a park.

Residents were able to ask questions following the presentation. The next steps for the Town is to continue discussions with its attorney and Coulee Frac Sand, LLC. and Carbo Ceramics.

The Town Board went into closed session prior to the Public Hearing. The board returned from closed session and adjourned.

The purpose of the closed session was to:

-Discuss matters related to the application for a zoning approval for a nonmetallic mine operation, submitted by Coulee Frac Sand, LLC, some aspects of which give rise to the need for deliberations and negotiations related to competitive or bargaining considerations, and to receive advice from counsel concerning strategy with respect to aspects of the application process that are likely to result in litigation.

-Consider whether to continue negotiations with Coulee Frac Sand regarding a possible developer’s agreement which may include acceptance of ownership of the proposed mine site by the Town for use as a public park, after mining operations are completed.

-In addition, the Town Board intends to discuss legal strategy with counsel pertaining to Town Board decision options with respect to this application and likely legal challenges to those decisions.