Augusta (WQOW) - It was standing room only Monday night during a public forum about plans for a new sand mine in Eau Claire County. Dozens of people spoke out about the proposed mine, which would be located off of Highway 27.
The mine would be run by Five Star Telecom Properties. The company purchased 160 acres just north of the city of Augusta off Highway 27. The company says it would hire around 60 mine workers and truck drivers. It would only be an extraction mine, and the company says there would be no processing or crushing of the sand.
"This is the first sand mine that we're going to own and operate. Since the frac sand industry has started, I've been a subcontractor in many different mines throughout the state of Wisconsin," says Troy Morey, with Five Star Telecom Properties.
And it was a packed house at the public forum Monday night. Over 150 people showed up, and dozens spoke out about the mine. Most were against it, but a handful of people spoke in favor.
"You need to look at the ordinances, you need to look at all the stuff that you'd have to be responsible for, because you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all the citizens of Bridge Creek, and in a sense, Augusta as well," urged one speaker.
"I think it will be a valued asset for many, we'll have more employment," said another.
"It's not worth a few jobs, nor the increased medical bills families will end up paying," said another speaker.
The company has already gotten approval from the DNR, Eau Claire County, and the DOT for the mine. The last step would be approval of the mine from the town board.
Andrea, a town board member told me they could vote on the mine at their meeting on Thursday night.
Eau Claire County issued a mining reclamation permit to the company about a month ago.