From: Jane Cowgill
Anyone who is concerned about the effects the frac sand industry may have on the city of Winona (as opposed to issues in Winona County), should consider attending two upcoming meetings at City Hall, one on December 5, and one on December 10.
On December 5, CD Corp. will seek a new CUP on the number of barges they can load per month at the new city harbor. Previously, they were allowed 24 barges; now they want to double that to 48. Of course, that will double the number of trucks bringing sand to the harbor. The city is still under a moratorium against such expansion, and we need, at the very least, a traffic impact analysis before any more trucks are allowed on our roads. Please come and let city officials know your opinions on this issue. Dec. 5, 5:00 p.m. City Council Chambers, City Hall.
On December 10, there will be a public hearing where the City Planning Commission will present revisions to be included in its final report. First, they wish to amend mining ordinance language to say that a mining operation may use as many trucks as needed but must also submit a Traffic Impact Analysis if they run more than 200 truck trips per day. Second, they wish to lower the moisture levels of stockpiled sand from 3 percent to 1.5 percent. Third, they advise that all structures and stockpiles at sand operations plants must be 200 feet from residential housing. Fourth, they seek to redefine a “heavy commercial vehicle” from one carrying 26,000 lbs to one carrying 33,000 lbs. These are serious changes which mainly benefit the industry and ignore issues of traffic, roads, noise, and pollution expressed by citizens. Again, please come and express your opinions on these proposals. Dec. 10, 4:30 City Council Chambers, City Hall.
Attending these meetings and voicing our opinions are the only ways we have of influencing decisions which will affect Winonans for years to come.