Town of Rock Holds Public Hearing for Frac Sand Mine

The Town of Rock held a joint Town Board and Zoning Board Public Hearing on Feb. 27 to discuss the draft development agreement between Coulee Frac Sand and the Town of Rock for the proposed Frac Sand Mine at the corner of County Road V and MacArthur Drive.

The first part of the agreement lays out the requirements for after the mine is closed, which will see the area turned into “A lake designed and constructed with the objective of creating a usable water resource capable of supporting fishery and aquatic plants, and providing a wildlife habitat.”

[Related: Town of Rock Hears Reclamation Plan for Frac Sand Mine]

The park would include a shelter, beach, boat landing, pier, walking path, and a 100×30 foot heated building.

The rest of the agreement lays out the restrictions on the mining operation.

Restrictions include limiting the hours of operation to 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 7 a.m. – Noon on Saturdays. The mine would not be allowed to operate on Sundays and Legal Holidays. If the company is preparing a new area for mining, the hours are further limited to 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The agreement also includes a Property Value Guarantee in which Coulee Frac Sand would be required to reimburse homeowners for any lost value if they sell their house that can be attributed to the mine. Also included was a fund to be set up to help citizens if they have issues with their well, also attributed to the mine. The fund will be able to make financing available within 24 hours if someone has a well issue.

The agreement also lays out restrictions on use of town roads, setbacks, and visual screening.

The main contention between the agreement and citizens were in two areas. First was the allowing of blasting on the mine site. The recommendations from the Frac Sand Mining Impact Assessment Committee (FSMIAC) that met in September was to ban all blasting. The development agreement includes provisions that allow the company to use explosives to break up rock formations under specific conditions.

The other area of contention was in compensation. The current agreement allows for the town to charge $0.05 per ton of material removed from the site to help fund the operations of the park if the town chooses to go that route. The FSMIAC had suggested $0.25 per ton rate.

The full agreement can be read here.

Several citizens also expressed a desire to have more public meetings relating to the draft development proposal. The Town Board has not confirmed when the next meeting will be held.

The Planning Commission and Town Board will receive written comment until March 8th. Email the town at [email protected] or mail comments to the town at PO Box 37, Marshfield WI 54449 or 10970 Cty Rd N, Marshfield WI 54440.

News Desk
Author: News Desk