The Scandia city council is meeting tonight to make its final decision on the Tiller-Zavoral gravel mine and reclamation project. The controversial proposal has been under consideration since 2008.
The council would reverse the city’s Planning Commission recommendation to reject the permit. Indications that it would do so outraged the many vocal citizens who opposed the proposal, and the St. Croix River Association (a St. Croix 360 partner), which recently expressed its disappointment in a letter to the council.
The city posted several documents on its website in advance of tonight’s meeting, including the resolution to approve a Conditional Use Permit, which has been the subject of deliberations during two previous meetings.
Key conditions included in the permit include:
- Maintaining a 25-foot separation between mine pits and groundwater, including monitoring and reporting of pumping and possible contaminants.
- Explicit prohibition of mining “frac sand”
- Moving the mine entrance from Highway 95 to be directly opposite Highway 97
- Truck traffic restricted to peak of 600 round trips per day
- Operating hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and closing at 2 p.m. on Fridays
- Compliance with state of Minnesota noise standards
- Noise monitoring at neighboring properties and on the St. Croix River
All the documents which will be voted on tonight are available on the city’s website.
One of the biggest restrictions is that the mine will be limited to 3.3 years of activity. Options had been considered from 150 days to 10 years, with trade-offs in traffic and length of impact.
At last week’s council work session, the members agreed on the 3.3 year term, pleasing some who were concerned that they would approve “3-5 years,” which would effectively mean five years.
Philip Bock in the Osceola Sun has more details about last week’s deliberations. St. Croix 360 will provide updates as soon as they are available.