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Town of Waumandee and frac sand (09/11/2013)
From: Susanne Smith

Cochrane, Wis.

In August, 2013, a survey regarding frac sand mining was sent out to all Town of Waumandee, Wis. taxpayers. Two hundred and eighty-four surveys were sent out and 124 people responded – a 44 percent return. For the question: “Do you approve of industrial frac sand mining in the Town of Waumandee?” 74 percent responded “No,” 26 percent responded “Yes,” and two people had no response. Badger Bluff Sands alleges that the survey was done by a “special interest group” that skewed the results. However, all Town of Waumandee taxpayers had the opportunity to respond to the survey and all responses were counted. The results indicate that the majority of Waumandee taxpayers do not want frac sand mining in the township.

A special town meeting was held on August 27 for public comment on the proposed Badger Bluff Sands proposal for a mine and wash plant in Shoepps Valley. The majority of people who spoke at the meeting expressed opposition to the project. Neighbors of the proposed mine and wash plant stated that they had not been contacted by Badger Bluff Sands prior to the proposal. In spite of the survey results and public comments, the three town board members voted two to one to recommend approval of the Badger Bluffs Sands proposal. One reason for this recommendation given by the Town Chair was that if they did not approve this mine proposal they would not be able to vote approval for a new gravel quarry if one were needed in the future. I’m pretty sure that Town of Waumandee taxpayers understand the difference between industrial frac sand mining and quarries, which provide gravel and sand for our roads. It is regrettable that elected local officials seem unable to make this distinction.

I thought it was interesting that the Waumandee Town Board members did not speak to ways that they thought the mine and wash plant would benefit the Township. This mine and wash plant will destroy the serenity of a beautiful valley and put approximately 200 trucks/day on STH 88 and STH 35, passing the C-FC School, and traveling through the towns of Alma and Nelson. Say NO to the Badger Bluff Sands mine and wash plant!

The recommendation of the Waumandee Town Board is only advisory and will be sent to the Buffalo County Board of Adjustment. Please contact your County Board members with your comments and concerns.



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