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Milton officials seek more details on gravel pit decision

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Neil Johnson
July 7, 2012

— The Milton Town Board plans to resume discussion of a proposed gravel pit along Klug Road Monday, but it’s not clear if a decision on the controversial plan could be on the horizon.

A decision on a conditional-use permit for the 137-acre gravel pit proposed by landowner Scott Traynor and Elkhorn company B.R. Amon & Sons has been delayed in recent weeks as town officials have sought more information on the scope and potential impact of the project.

Town Chairman Bryan Meyer said this week he’s hopeful the town’s planning and zoning committee is nearing the finish line on a special evaluation of the permit request.

The committee has been working to get an independent consultant’s review of a list of questions it compiled June 14 over environmental and operational concerns about the pit.

It’s seen as the last step before the planning and zoning committee and the town board could vote on the proposal.

In an interview this week, Meyer said he’s hopeful the committee could be ready to make a recommendation on the pit plan Monday.

“There has likely been enough time to get answers on what they’re trying to find,” Meyer said.

Meyer spoke about the committee’s review in general, although he sought to distance himself from the process.

“I made sure that they (the committee) reached a list and their chair (town board and planning and zoning member Marian Trescher) has moved forward to attempt to get the information. I’ve tried to make sure they were moving forward on the process. That’s the extent of the knowledge I have,” Meyer said.

Meyer said he’s did not have details of the evaluation, including any findings the committee may have received, and he was not aware of the group’s progress or whether any public records linked to the review are on file at Milton Town Hall.

Town Hall was closed this week because some town officials are on vacation, Meyer said.

Town attorney Dave Moore said he was unaware whether the town had hired a consultant to answer the committee’s questions on the gravel pit. He said the town sent a copy of the list of questions to the Amon & Sons, which it had agreed to do last month, and Amon had replied, seeking “more time” to respond.

Moore seemed less optimistic than Meyer about the committee’s permit review being nearly complete. He said he was unaware of intentions by the committee to make a recommendation on Monday.

Meanwhile, the committee has been mum on the status of the review. A Gazette reporter this week left several phone calls with members of the committee, but those calls were not returned.

Linda Schalk, who chairs a neighbors group of Klug Road residents who oppose the gravel pit plan, said her group has had “major issues” over access to documents and information about the quarry plan prior to public meetings.

She said one example was in recent weeks, when Amon & Sons mailed project plans directly to the homes of town officials but not Town Hall.

Schalk’s group has suggested it will take legal action if the town approves the gravel pit plan. If the town approves the pit, the plan still would face review by Rock County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Neighbors along Klug Road oppose the project, citing concerns over environmental impact and property values. The pit would be east of North Klug Road on a glacial hill that’s between state wetlands and dozens of residences.

Amon & Sons say the pit could be in operation over the next three to five years. It would fuel local road projects.

Amon & Sons did not return phone calls seeking comment this week, but company President Tom Amon expressed frustration following a June 11 meeting during which town officials stalled on a decision.

If you go

What: The Milton Town Board and the town Planning and Zoning Committee will discuss a conditional-use permit request by Scott Traynor of Milton and B.R. Amon & Sons of Elkhorn to develop a 137-acre gravel quarry along North Klug Road.

When: 6:30 p.m., Monday.

Where: Milton Town Hall, 23 First St., Milton.



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