A local TV station (WQOW Eau Claire) just did a story about “cooperation” agreements that are being struck between Vista Sands and land owners. The title is suggestive — “Property owner calls sand company proposal hush money.” Here is a link to the whole story on their site:
And here is a link to the contract. Let me know if this link goes away — I have a copy of the file.
Several interesting things.
- The whistle-blower calls this “tax free” money. I don’t think that’s right.
- I wonder how many of the green-shirted enthusiasts for our local projects are under similar agreements.
- These agreements are pretty crude. My lawyers wouldn’t let me sign something like that — the agreement that is posted is really one-sided in favor of the mining company.
- The confidentiality agreement part is forever. So presumably a farmer (or any family member of the farmer, look out for that) who has a change of heart some time in the future can probably look forward to a claw-back lawsuit.
- It takes a really long time to collect the money ($37,900 — what an odd dollar figure). You have to wait for final approval, through all governmental approvals, in a way that is satisfactory to the company. A long time, and probably never — since there’s that giant “satisfactory to the company” loophole in there.