Wednesday, May 28, 2014 | NEWS
Special TF meeting on frac issue Tuesday
Alternative plan surfaces
Gary King | Editor
TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. - The city of Taylors Falls will hold a special city council meeting Tuesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m., and on the agenda is the proposed building of a frac sand transloading station in North Branch, Minn., that would likely result in a steady stream of frac hauling trucks through Taylors Falls on their way to a sand plant in Poskin, Wis., near Barron - and back again.
Citizens against the proposal have gathered 1,400 signatures on a petition that was presented to the North Branch City Council Tuesday evening, May 27. It asks that North Branch not enter into an agreement with Superior Silica Sands, a company which seeks to build the transloading station in that city’s industrial park.
Those citizens showed up at Tuesday’s council meeting, but North Branch Mayor Ronald Lindquist was reluctant to let the public talk about the issue under public comment. He said there would be plenty of opportunities - including an open house - to voice concerns about the project.
A city council member made a motion to open the floor to public comments, but the mayor allowed only North Branch residents to talk.
North Branch resident Kirsten Kennedy presented the petition on behalf of Taylors Falls.
“I’m really sorry citizens of Taylors Falls aren’t able to speak for themselves tonight,” Kennedy said. She noted that the petition would also be presented to Gov. Mark Dayton and to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“That’s so they can see when one city makes a decision that affects and devastates other cities, it’s our responsibility to see that it doesn’t happen.”
Kennedy also announced that the Chisago County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Authority had met earlier on Tuesday and reviewed the SSS project with concerns about it affecting future land sale in the industrial park in North Branch, and issues of traffic, job creation and tax base.
“They discussed an alternative location for them (SSS) in the county and compensation for North Branch for the 30 acres,” Kennedy noted. “That would be a win for the citizens of North Branch, a win for Taylors Falls and a win for the entire region.
“I’m asking you to do what’s right,” she told the council as Lindquist advised her she was “out of time.”
In a second round of public comments approved by the council, Taylors Falls residents were allowed to speak. Those comments can be found at facebook.com/TaylorsFallsSaysNo.
Tuesday’s special meeting at Taylors Falls City Hall will include a showing of “The Price of Sand,” a documentary about the frac sand mine boom in Wisconsin and Minnesota.