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home : government : government June 25, 2016

2/28/2013 10:53:00 AM
Stanton looks at silica sand mining

by Paul Martin

County Land Use Officer Lisa Hanni, County Commissioner Richard Samuelson and John Hobert of Cannon Falls attended the February 19 meeting of Stanton Town Board.

Hanni spoke about the work of the Goodhue County Committee on Mining, which has been meeting since the Fall of 2011. Hobert represents the Second District on this Committee. Said Hanni, "We are trying to visit every Township to explain our work, and why it is needed. We have found little interest on this side of the County, but suitable sandstone is found here also." Deposits of the suitable St. Peter Sandstone underlie parts of Stanton, though at a depth that may not attract mining.

Silica sand has long been mined for use in glassmaking and sandblasting, for example, but the size and number of mines is growing very rapidly because of the use of silica in gas and oil extraction. Much of the sand found in the Upper Mississippi Valley turns out to be perfect for this use, and rules designed for local gravel and aggregate mines cannot cope with huge mines and powerful mining companies.

The same day as the Stanton meeting, protesters from the Red Wing area and around Minnesota thronged the Capitol to demand the State act to regulate sand mining.

Hanni outlined Goodhue County's approach, which is to try to get ahead of any problems. If the County Board approves the Committee's work, bluff and wildlife-rich areas will be off-limits, as will a 1,000' zone around all dwellings - or 300' if the owner agrees. Companies will be required to submit thorough data on transportation, dust control, blasting, water use and restoration plans before lifting a shovel. They will also have to monitor air and water quality 24/7, at their own expense. For more information , see the County website (http://www.co.goodhue.mn.us/countygovernment/committees/MiningCommittee).

Icy Road Woes

Supervisors have received a number of calls about the time taken to clear some township roads after recent ice and snow storms. They resolved to work with the road crews to improve response times. Road maintenance man John Krantz requested the Township buy a smaller pickup to use in plowing and sanding smaller areas. "The large truck won't get into some areas," he said. "There was a house fire today, and I couldn't get into the lane to clear it for the firefighters." The Board resolved to look into buying a suitable used vehicle.

Town to City: Work with

us on Annexation

Board Chairman Vince Cockriel reported that he has written to the City of Cannon Falls about the possible annexation of a proposed subdivision between Hwy 24 and the Little Cannon River. "The City has indicated that the developer could, and should, be required to request annexation in order for his proposal ... to move forward," he wrote.

Cockriel stated his understanding that there would be negotiations among Stanton, the City, and Cannon Falls Township about annexation, and that there is common ground among the three bodies and the developer. He concluded, "Any attempt to move forward ... without weighed input from Stanton Township would be vigorously opposed. However, it is our hope that we would be able to work together, as neighbors."

Treasurer's Report

Treasurer Jennifer Ritzman reported Receipts of $3,126.56 against Disbursements of $7,512.41. Liquid Cash is now $302,053.83 and Investments are $63,661.78.

Joel Thorland was given a permit to build a 28' x 16' extension to his existing garage on his property at 32048 Oxford Mill Road.

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