Revised Milton gravel pit earns town board approval

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Jim Dayton
Sunday, June 18, 2017

TOWN OF MILTON—A proposed gravel pit in the town of Milton would be smaller than once planned to avoid being subject to Rock County shoreland zoning regulations.

The gravel pit’s original plans called for more than 60 acres of the 137-acre site to be mined for extraction. Now the pit, located at 7030 E. County N, Milton, will only encompass 29 acres, Milton Town Board member Leonard Stalker said.

In 2015, the Harold Traynor Revocable Living Trust received approval from the Milton Town Board and a Rock County development committee for its gravel pit plans. But the county board of adjustment overturned the decision because the pit was within 1,000 feet of a wetland, as previously reported by The Gazette.

Stalker did not know why the county reversed the approved plans two years ago, he said.

“That was kind of confusing how that went. I went through a few of those meetings and didn’t understand it all,” he said. “Nobody could get on the right page.”

The revised, smaller gravel pit will not be within the wetland range, Stalker said.

The Milton Town Board also approved amendments to the gravel pit’s existing permit at its meeting last week.

The changes will extend the permit another three years until 2025 and allow the gravel pit to operate Saturday mornings from 6 a.m. to noon, Stalker said.

The company will still do mineral extraction during the week, but it wanted to add Saturday mornings for customers who need gravel for small weekend jobs or those who are busy during normal business hours, he said.

Once the permit expires in 2025 and extraction is complete, the company plans to refill the site and allow farming to take place, Stalker said.

Original gravel pit plans created an intense divide in the area.

An opposition group consisting of town residents filed a lawsuit in May 2013 for environmental reasons. The lawsuit was dropped in November of that year after a developer left the project, as previously reported by The Gazette.

Two years later, the issue returned to court after the county board of adjustment overturned permit approval for the gravel pit. Those in favor of the project filed a lawsuit in December 2015, claiming that the board did not follow Rock County ordinances in its decision.

The Traynor family, who owns the land that would be used for the gravel pit, still needs to receive final approval before it can begin extraction. But the town board has approved its end of the project, Stalker said.

“We approved the last one. Other than the fact it was made smaller, nothing has really changed,” he said. “It’s just less of it.”

The Traynors declined to comment for this story.

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