Three people were quoted in decorahnews.com's September 8th article Winneshiek County Zoning Commission Recommends Approval of Revised Zoning Ordinance, all giving high praise and gratitude for the work of the P&Z. I think decorahnews readers would appreciate knowing that a few people raised serious concerns about what the passage of this ordinance would mean for our county.
One person pointed out that the greatest fine a mining company would endure if they violated the ordinance is $750 (state law maximum). She followed saying that for multi-million dollar corporations, this is simply "a cost of doing business" and likely not to be taken seriously.
A young Decorah woman who had traveled through Wisconsin on a "frac sand tour" last year, recalled an eye-opening conversation she had had with a local resident affected by this type of mining. She quoted him as saying "I wish we'd never let them in. Because once they get a foothold, you'll never get them out."
I also spoke that evening. I made clear that this ordinance would LEGALIZE frac sand mining, in the face of what could be the most unpopular proposed industrial activity this county has ever seen. I also mentioned that many county residents are of the opinion that this issue is first and foremost a civil rights issue, not a land use issue. A bold and creative response from our Board of Supervisors is in order when corporations have more say than a community majority.
(published a Decorahnews.com)