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Protest of mining operation filed

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
September 24, 2010
— Opponents of a proposed sand and gravel mine on the city’s south side have delivered a petition against the project that one organizer says contains more than 1,500 names.

Concerns listed on the petition include damage to property values and roads, noise, pollution and flooding.


“We are concerned with our health and our well-being,” said Betty Ellefson, 1245 Bouchard Ave.


MH Materials of Hartford owns 311 acres in La Prairie Township. The company wants to annex 75 acres, including 65 it wants zoned for mining. About 40 to 45 acres of the 65 will be mined, said Duane Cherek of the city’s community development department.


The request to annex and rezone the property will be introduced at Monday’s city council meeting. There is no discussion expected, although Ellefson said she plans to address the council during a time period set aside for public comment.


MH Materials’ request will be forwarded to the plan commission, which is charged with making a recommendation to the council.


Cherek said the opposition’s petition is probably not a valid protest petition of an annexation, which would require a three-fourths majority vote from the council for approval. That must be filed by 20 percent of property owners living within 100 feet of the proposed change.


Nobody has property within that 100 feet because the company owns so much property, Cherek said.


The petition does say that “someone was able to get a significant number of signatures on that petition indicating their dissatisfaction … with the proposed land use,” Cherek said. “I can’t vouch for who signed it and under what context.”



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