CFC School District “must agree to disagree” with Glacier Sands over school safety

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Here is the body of the letter, I’ve transcribed it here so that the search engines will pick it up.  Mikey


Cochrane-Fountain City School District
S2770 State Highway 35
Fountain City, Wisconsin  54629

Thomas Hiebert, District Superintendent
Phone:     608-687-7771
Fax:    608-687-3312

Steve Stoppelmoor, PreK-12 Principal
Phone:    608-687-4391, or
Fax:    608-687-6212

Board of Adjustment Members
County Zoning Office
Buffalo County Courhouse
PO Box 494
Alma, WI  54610-0494


RE:    Glacier Sands LLC — Traffic Safety Negotiations

Dear Board of Adjustment Members:

Per your direction the Cochrane-Fountain City School District (“District”) through Superintendent Hiebert and legal counsel have met multiple times to discuss safety concerns and possible solutions with Glacier Sands LLC (“Glacier”).  Unfortunately, the District and Glacier must agree to disagree.  For the reasons below, the District asks you deny the Seven Sands LLC conditional use permit application and any other pending Glacier CUPs which impact the School District’s busing routes and student traffic safety.

By way of background, during our negotiation sessions, Glacier maintains the Starkey site is not a development option because of the BOA decision, but Glacier has been unwilling to commit to that decision in writing.  However, during the August 9th BOA hearing, Glacier representatives indicated Glacier would likely pursue the Starkey site.  Whether Glacier pursues the Starkey site greatly impacts the Highway 35 and 88 intersection traffic safety.  Therefore, since Glacier is unwilling to provide reasonable certainty about the Starkey site, no agreement has been reached.


The District’s concerns are student safety and education.  For the District to focus on its mission — educating students — safety issues must not continually be a distraction.  The District needs assurance its students will be safe today, safe tomorrow and safe for years to come.  The District does not feel assured.  Without a reasonable comprehensive traffic safety plan, agreement has not been reached and we encourage the BOA at this point to reject Glacier’s proposals.


The District recognizes the BOA cannot create a county-wide safety plan based on an individual application.  The County must give the BOA tools (independent experts, legal counsel, ordinances, etc.) to address the issues raised during the Glacier hearings.  The District is willing to cooperate with both the BOA and the County as much as possible.  Nonetheless, the authority on helping create a safe environment for its residents and its students ultimately rests upon the County.

With this in mind, we believe it is in the best interests of the School District that the County create a conditional use permit process which requires and addresses busing and student traffic safety.  The County application should require a well-laid plan and one has not been submitted by either Glacier or Seven Sands.

We ask the County to take responsibility and direct its Departments to determine how to most effectively address the issues related to frac sand mining through a comprehensive approach, specifically determining:

1. Transportation safety and infrastructure needs which includes addressing busing routes and student traffic safety; and

2. Developing a more thorough application and process.

In the meanwhile, the District requests the BOA deny Seven Sands’ and all of Glacier’s CUP application for the reasons state at the August 9, 2012 hearing and those herin.


The District requests the BOA deny Glacier and Seven Sands’ applications and allow the County to:

1. Extend the moratorium to properly plan for development of this magnitude in Buffalo County; and

2. Establish a plan in which School Districts are consulted and participate in coordinating and developing reasonable routes which adequately address the safety of our most valuable commodity, Buffalo County school children.

The District remains committed to ensuring student safety and a healthy education environment.  The Board is very appreciate of the BOA for reaching out to the School District and allowing us an opportunity to try to come to a reasonable measure which addresses our students’ concerns.


Ed Callahan, President
Steve Scharlau, Vice President
Jo Ressie, Clerk
Sue Pronschinske, Treasurer
Karen Knospe, Director
Charlie Krueger, Director
Steve Willadsen

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