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Pierce County committee approves sand mine expansion

ELLSWORTH - The Pierce County Land Management Committee approved on Wednesday a permit allowing Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company to expand its sand mine in Maiden Rock.

The expansion had been a point of concern for many citizens of the town, prompting a lengthy public hearing in December and many letters and comments sent to both the committee and the company. Some concerns included potential air and water pollution, possible decreases in the value of properties near the mine and the effects of blasting on nearby homes and wells.

The committee was set to vote on the expansion in December, but delayed the decision in order to gather more information about the issues raised by the public. Committee members said Wednesday they believe the company has sufficiently addressed all its questions and concerns.

"There are always good reasons not to do things," said committee chair Paul Barkla, "but at some point decisions have to be made, and we do our best."

The committee's approval only applies to expansion within the Town of Maiden Rock. The Village of Maiden Rock will make its own decision regarding the portions of the proposed expansion on its land.

For more on this story, see Saturday's edition of the R-E.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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