Neighbors speak out about proposed plans - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Neighbors speak out about proposed plans for sand loading facility

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Last week plans for a sand loading facility in Eau Claire were put on hold. This week, neighbors are speaking out about plans they only heard about after a vote was made. 

Muskie Proppant is asking the city to enter into a developer's agreement, which would allow the company to create a rail spur in Eau Claire. The company would pay for the entire project, and the city would own half of the addition. About 40 trucks would be traveling from Pierce County each day.

Last Tuesday, the city council voted 7-3 in favor of the project. But, because a $51,000 appropriation was included in the agreement, a two thirds vote was needed to accept that money. That wasn't possible because one council member was not in attendance.

Neighbors on the north side of town say they were shocked to hear about plans for a sand loading facility in their area, especially after the city council voted last week Tuesday.

Neighbor, Eloise Rowan, says, "We should have been notified about this, quite some time in advance."

The company Muskie Proppant wants to bring a sand loading facility into the neighborhood, just off Anderson Road and behind Plank Enterprises.

"We're very concerned about our home value, I don't know that anybody would willingly move into an area that has a frac sand facility next to it," says neighbor Ryan Cook.

Ryan Cook lives just across the street from the proposed site and says he is concerned about things like truck traffic, noise, and the possible health risk silica sand poses. 

He says, "If this passes through, we'll have to try to sell our house for whatever we can and try to make a fresh start somewhere else."

Council member Dave Duax serves on both the plan commission and city council. He says there is a conflict between what was proposed a year ago and today.  "Last year we were told, it was not frac sand. This year, two weeks ago, we were told it is frac sand.  Ok, what is it? And what should we know about that sand?" says Duax.

Rowan says, "I just feel the council didn't do their homework well enough and I think they need to re-send this plan, take it away, and vote it down. I urge everybody in the city of Eau Claire to attend the meeting, because if you don't think it's coming in your neighborhood... You don't know. We never thought it would come here. You just never know."

We reached out to Muskie Proppant last week and Friday and still haven't heard back. There will be a public hearing about the spur at Monday's city council meeting and possibly a vote Tuesday. 

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