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  Monday January 26th, 2015    

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Letter to the people of Winona County (02/13/2013)
From: Tom Rowekamp

I am writing this letter as a representative of Dave & Sherry Nisbit for their proposed 19.2 acre sand mine site. My name is Tom Rowekamp. I will be the contractor for this mine site. It is my hope that this letter will stir people who are not opposed to sand mining in Winona County to write a letter to Winona County in our public comment period for our EAW. Our public comment period will end on the 20th of February.

We started this project with the thought of only selling sand to local farmers for bedding and contractors for construction work. However, learning that this sand could be sold for the oil and gas industry made it more feasible. If we are able to open this mine, we are still looking to provide sand supply needs for farming and construction in Winona County. Not being able to have the sand would mean a higher cost for farmers and construction because sand would have to come from a greater distance.

I would think by now that everyone in southeastern Minnesota has formed some kind of opinion on this sand issue. There have been many untruths! For instance, people that are opposed to sand mining think that big oil money is behind the sand mining industry. That couldnít be farther from the truth. Or that this industry is only going to be here for a short time and than be gone, not likely. Like it or not, the FRACKING boom is here to stay and the need for sand will be here for many many years to come. Whether it comes from here or Wisconsin, the need for this sand will be there.

For those of you that would like to write a letter on our behalf, please include your name and address so that the County can respond to your comments. Now is the time to say how you feel about sand mining. Please donít let my opponents be the only ones that send in letters to Jason Gilman Planning & Environmental Services Director. Please be truthful in your comments and let the County government know how you feel, good or bad. Our opponents are well organized and would be the first to challenge someone trying to open a feed lot or a sand mine. For all of the farming community in Winona County this is a land issue as well as an industrial issue. If persons are conducting mining in best-known practices, what more can you ask? Road issues are being addressed. Air issues are being addressed. Water issues have been addressed. We started off with 25 conditions at the beginning of our conditional use permit. We now have 35 conditions that we have to meet in order to comply. This will be the most regulated silica sand mine that southeast Minnesota and Winona County has ever had.

Please send comments to:

Jason Gilman

Planning & Environmental

Services Director

177 Main Street

Winona, MN 55987




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