From: Marie Kovecsi
Last night the Winona City Board of Adjustment approved an application for CD Trucking to ship frac sand from our port. The proposal will operate 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm for 12 months a year. The proposal will bring an additional 60 trucks from Arcadia, Wis., across our fragile bridge. This is really 120 truck trips as each truck will return along the same route. Anyone who has been waiting in traffic at the 4th St. bridge knows how congested that area is already. Forty-two sand trucks were counted for one hour on the 30th of April, an increase from the 32 sand trucks in one hour on the 10th of January this year. (This is in addition to all other traffic — farm trucks, commodities and commuters.)
The trucks wait on the bridge until all lanes are clear before they attempt the turn onto 4th St. because they need to use traffic lanes in addition to their own. This is a designated truck route but was never designed for this volume of traffic. The CD proposal will add one truck every 6 minutes to this already congested area. 4th St. is narrow with parking on both sides and the trucks wait again at Huff St. as they need all lanes clear before turning onto Huff, again with a wide turn base due to their size.
In addition a bus comes to the YMCA every day with children for after school recreation programs. This truck traffic compromises the safety of families entering and leaving the YMCA. At one point there were as many as four trucks lined up on 4th St. waiting to make turns. The YMCA is a vulnerable site, just as schools, churches, hospitals and nursing homes and should not have this volume of truck traffic just outside its doors. Summer programs will also compete with trucks and traffic. In addition to being a nuisance, does anybody see a dangerous hazard here?
The application was incomplete in several major areas. It included no details on how they intend to comply with water use — they propose to wash roads and trucks, creating waste water and to water stockpiles but give no details on how much water is used, where it comes from or where the dirty water goes. Mr. Nisbit also spoke of trucks coming with washed sand from the washing site on Old Goodview Rd. but the application made no mention of this activity or traffic route and impact. (This washing site is also located on the floodplain for Gilmore Creek.)
Is this Board representing the health, safety and welfare of Winona’s citizens including families and children using the YMCA? Do the City’s conditions for applications protect citizens or do they need to be strengthened? What will it take to add options like a traffic impact study as part of the application process as the county now requires? We have already had one serious accident involving a sand truck. How many more do we need before the City acts responsibly in support of its citizens? Why are our city officials allowing the sand mining industry to take over our town with truck traffic, blasting, road hazards, noise, dirt, pollution, etc? This proposal presents a hazard for our community and its approval should be challenged.