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A Win/Win Vote for the Town of Dover
On February 19, the Town of Dover Board once again asserted its determination to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, and also its willingness to retain local control of local issues.
The Dover Town Board, by a 2-0 vote, passed a non-metallic mining licensing ordinance, an ordinance that empowers the town to approve or to deny an operating license to any prospective industrial-size non-metallic mining project. The ordinance does not prohibit non-metallic mining, but it does give to the township “ yes or no” control of any such project. One town board member did not attend the meeting.
The township has been enjoying years of sustained, steady growth as a mixed farming, residential, and recreational community. As dairy farming has waned in importance, many of the township’s long-established landowners have adapted to changing economic conditions by dividing larger acreages into smaller, more affordable, home site parcels, as well as by selling sell “forties” or “eighties” to provide access to world- famous Buffalo County deer hunting. This gradual shift in land ownership and land use patterns has worked out to the benefit of all parties concerned–traditional families, newer residents, and hunters. However, the whole symbiotic relationship has been threatened in recent months by an attempt to site a huge, 400 acre sand strip mine and wash plant right in the most populous section of the township.
Congratulations to the Dover Town Board! It has spoken loudly and clearly; Town of Dover will both protect its citizens and will keep the Lookout area as premium home-building real estate location—the Town of Dover will control its own future!
W29086 State Road 121
Independence, WI 54747
This is a letter that the Buffalo County Defenders just sent to all the Buffalo County Board members. You can either read the images on this page, or click HERE to download a PDF version of the file.
Our Zoning Committee Chair laid down the rules for testimony at the yesterday’s preliminary meeting about Glacier Sands’ application for a rezone across from CFC School. Here’s the long list of things that he instructed people they couldn’t testify about.
“Most importantly we will have only testimony regarding the rezone petition. Speakers must testify to the petition only. Comments about nonmetallic mining reclamation ordinance or nonmetallic mining policies and procedures, critiques of the zoning ordinance, anything about specific mines either permitted or in process, the conditional use permit that this application may evolve into, or critiquing the land resources staff or committee are not acceptable testimonies. ”
If he pulls the same stunt tomorrow here, according to Mr Taylor, are things that you CAN testify about tomorrow.
Glacier Sands – they’re the applicant (they signed the petition)
The landowners – “John & Patricia Starkey” and “Robert L. Kamrowski”
Grain and sand – are listed as the products that “will be trucked to the site”
Highway 35 and 88 – are listed as the roads the grain and sand will be “trucked to the site via”
Trucks entering the intersection near the school – “Trucks will enter and leave the site off the intersection of USH [sic] 35/STH88″
250 truck loads a day – “The facility proposes to accommodate 250 total loads of sand per day, with approximately 60 trucks running each day”
Loadout facility – mentioned repeatedly
Mine sites – “Sand will come from mine sites near Mondovi, Gilmanton, and Montana”
Dust – the facility will “have fugitive dust controlled by use of dust suppressant and/or water trucks”
24×7 operation – “The facility will have the ability to load sand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”
Wetlands and waterways – “the proposed project has been discussed with both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (for wetlands and waterways permits)”
The scenic highway – “within the scenic highway easement”
Date: February 9, 2014
From: Mikey O’Connor
To: Buffalo County Land Resources Committee
Re: Testimony OPPOSED to the Starkey request to rezone the Starkey property to “Industrial”
More NEW jobs, not more OLD jobs
I hope you think about the future of Buffalo County’s younger generation and deny a rezone application that will put a 19th-century style rail-loading facility in the heart of Buffalo County — a project that will focus our county economy on mining and wreck one of the best chances for Buffalo County has to compete and win in the 21st century.
Much has been said about all the disadvantages Buffalo County has, and how we need the new jobs that sand mining will bring. But don’t overlook what we have going for us as we prepare our kids (and ourselves) to compete in the “Information Economy.”
Internet Infrastructure: Buffalo County has fiber-to-the-home – which is some of the best Internet access in the country and far ahead of most big cities. This is especially true in the portion of the county served by Nelson Telephone Cooperative.
Unspoiled environment: Buffalo County is in the heart of the Driftless Area – some of the most beautiful and unique natural habitat in the world.
Air travel: Buffalo County is within 2 hours of an international hub airport offering convenient, reliable and diverse travel options, worldwide.
A solid economy: Buffalo County was, in a 2007 WI Revenue Department report, the fastest growing county in Wisconsin terms of personal income, and in the top 10% of all counties in the country
There are a lot more of these attractions, but you get the point. Buffalo County could focus on developing 21st Century jobs (which, like the one I do, can be done anywhere there’s good Internet access). We could teach our kids how to compete on a world-class playing field without leaving their houses, never mind leaving the county. Remember, most kids don’t want to leave home, family and friends behind, they have to in order to get good jobs. That’s changing.
What do 21st century Information Economy workers want when they’re choosing a place to live and work? They want the very things that Buffalo County has. They want a vibrant community, beautiful places and great access to the world. We have all these and more, right now. Many county economic development officers would kill to have the “future proofing” amenities that we can offer here in Buffalo County.
What are our future, and opportunities for the next generation, going to be? 19th century jobs? Or 21st century jobs?
I’m for looking forward, not back. I hope you are too. Please deny this application and put Buffalo County on a course toward the future.