8-22-2022 Minutes Special Meeting


Special Meeting


Lowell called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM

In attendance: Lowell Hagen, Bob Strand, Norm Prusener, Jorja Boiley

After a review of the minutes from August 10, 2022, Board meeting, Bob made a motion to accept the minutes as written, seconded by Norm and the motion carried.


Lowell opened the discussion about the Triebold and the Johnson Sand and Gravel co who wants to reopen the gravel pit on Engel Road. While Johnson Sand and Gravel has been to a couple of meetings, there is no final decision or agreement established with the Town. If approved, they are planning to add a new driveway that will exit onto R&W Townline Rd and only travel west to Hwy 89. At earlier meetings, the discussion centered on how to keep the integrity of the Town roads. They offered to pay .15 per ton hauled and build the total to $200,000.00 that would be used for road repair when they close the pit or when the roads need repair. Based on the load size of 20 tons per each quad axle truck load of 20 tons, it would take a long time to reach that dollar amount. Even raising the per load to $.20, they would only be paying $4.00 per load and that would not build a reserve fund fast enough. Lowell suggested a bond instead from which the Town could withdraw funds as needed for repair. They do have to post a bond with the County that they will clean up the pit when it is closed. They will not be allowed to leave a hole in the ground.


Per Wisconsin Town’s Association, the Town has no legal authority to refuse an entity from establishing a private enterprise. Norm says we can stop them from driving on a class B road with their trucks.


An initial permit in 2005, approved Keinbaum, the original owner of the pit, that they could reopen the pit, which did not happen. Now they want to use the same approval to begin operations. Norm and Lowell did not agree that Johnson has taken all the steps necessary to fulfill the ability to reopen the pit. Zoning is a potential issue which would revert to the County.


Public input:


Dave Monk: next county board meeting at the county is 9/10/22 and the agenda is not established. Johnson would initiate the request to be placed on the agenda.


Norm says the original agreement was for 13 acres. Lowell says there are 120 acres on that plot. Lowell has no doubt that Johnson will eventually want to mine the entire amount of land.


Jerry Theune – asked if the Town is supporting reopening of the pit. There are steps the Company will need to take as they decide to open more acres. Lowell does not want the Town to be sued by Johnson and Triebold if the pit is stopped. Mr.Theune pushed for an opinion if the Town is in favor of approval. Lowell acknowledged that the residents in attendance are all against the idea since they live closer to the proposed site, but that they are also a small minority of the total Township population. The Town does not know for sure how many acres the pit will be in total.


Vicki Fiedler mentioned that they did not find out about the potential re-opening until Saturday. Her concern that a commercial and industrial business would be operating in a residential area. Plus the fact that R&W Townline is a direct route for reaching Hwy 89 that is the main thoroughfare to leave the Township.

Lowell answered that this meeting was not called to make a decision, only to continue discussion. Lowell also said that the Board could ask Johnson to attend the next Board meeting which is on September 14 and hold a Q&A session at that time.


Dave Ostrow – what will keep trucks from going east from the pit? A call would be made to the County Sheriff, since the Johnson trucks cannot legally travel on those roads and could be ticketed. Lowell indicated that if there was a local delivery, the Town could restrict the delivery vehicles to a smaller truck. Currently, other companies are hauling into the Township and it would be the same situation.


Rich Charts, Lake Management Association, says more information is needed. Questions about the level of the water table if they would be pumping water for their processing and the table is too low at the present time.


Cheryl Peterson – concerned about noise level from rock crusher, air quality due to dust, well concerns if they start drawing water. She says air quality and water level should be monitored by the Town. Lowell answered that the County is in charge of zoning issues.


Norm – all roads in town were developed using pit gravel and as a result the roads do not have a good base and will easily be destroyed by the larger trucks.


Dave Ostrow – Ridge Rd is full of tire tracks from slamming on brakes. Concerned about speed limits. Concerned about trucks in the lake property


Dave Monk –is aqua well already installed? Does DNR know? Is there a permit issued?


Norm says the original well was dug without a permit per the County. Laurel Swan – says the well in the pit has been there for 40 years.


Cheryl Peterson – asking if inspections will be performed and should be done by county. Will assessor come and reassess the property since the property values will decrease in value.


Brienne Brown – says that all concerns must go through the County. She made a reference to a decision made during the Walker era (2013) that made it ok for any mining to be done and it is a County or State issue.


Norm repeated that only power we have is to restrict traffic on class b roads.


Pete Kelly – asking about town’s only ability is to restrict the development. Can a referendum be done for the residents to vote yes or know? Perhaps another non-binding survey. Concerned that all of the area will be adversely affected, especially the lakes. Lowell feels that only the close residents will complain. Binding referendum on a ballot precludes property owners who are not residents from expressing their wishes whether yes or no.


Kim Monk – bought a beautiful property based on the area – in the country and in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. Asking why Triebold would endanger the residential area.


Chris Welter spoke about changing the footprint and thinks that the size cannot be changed. As the pit progresses the empty land must be reclaimed. State Statutes and County determines how the land is reclaimed. Cannot expand the current 13 acres. Referred to only a 4 year lease.


Theune – has been a resident here for 40 years and he feels the pit would devalue the area.

Let the people make the decision.


Dave Monk – Have the permits been issued? If the area is to be increased are there zoning changes necessary?


Ron Binning – only 4-5 acres has been used…but there is a 13 acres area that can be dug.


Bob Strand says we should have another meeting with Johnson and review the survey for the plan for the property.


Mary Zordel is asking where and when is the County meeting?


Dave Ostrow – what is Johnson planning to do – where is the plan?


Mrs. Binning…safety is an issue for the walkers, school children, bikers.


Brienne indicated that Brian Holt, district supervisor, knows about the process. bholt@co.walworth.wi.us


Norm suggested contacting the Town attorney regarding how to place a referendum on a ballot for a binding decision. Jorja indicated that the deadline for including a referendum on November’s ballot was in August. Norm made a motion that a referendum be placed on the next available ballot, which would be either February or April, 2023, the motion was seconded by Bob and the motion carried.


Jorja will contact the County regarding County and Zoning Board meetings – if there is public input allowed at the meetings, when they will be held, etc. This information will be shared with the residents.


Judy Wildermuth – can Johnson come to a meeting so the people can address questions to Johnson Sand and Gravel. Lowell said he can ask them to attend the next board meeting on September 14, 2022 at 7:00 PM and time will be allocated for Q&A.


Lowell made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Norm and the motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:40


Submitted by Jorja Boiley, Clerk Treasurer