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Silica sand mining voted down

By Andy Siefert

Mon, Mar 18th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By Andy Seifert

On Wednesday, March 12, St. Charles City Council mayor William Spitzer motioned against three annexation petitions seeking to designate land for a frac sand processing plant. Council Members voted unanimously for a resolution setting up formal opposition to the annexation.

Before making the motion, Spitzer said, “Our number one priority has been to seek answers and ask questions about a subject we were not familiar with … the matter has not been taken lightly.”

St. Charles has heard a lot about silica sand mining over the past year. It’s been in the news, discussed in public and featured in many meetings. Mayo Clinic Dr. Wayne Feyereisn spoke about the issue from a medical perspective.

Spitzer explained that the St. Charles Township did not support the annexation and therefore felt that denying the petitions was the responsible reaction for the City. “The City seeks to maintain positive relations with the Township and County,” he said.

After the resolution opposing the annexation had been passed, Concerned Citizens for St. Charles spokesperson Travis Lange addressed city council and said, “On behalf of Concerned Citizens, thank you very much.” Concerned Citizens for St. Charles, a group opposing silica sand mining from the onset, have played an active role in communicating with the public and with Council Members.

But one St. Charles citizen argued that Concerned Citizens had developed in fear and spread misinformation. The individual was concerned that the multi modal frac sand and transportation facility representatives never received a chance to address the issue.

Nonetheless, having taken a side on the highly debated issue, Council Members moved on with the meeting. “We are all in this together,” the mayor had explained, “It’s important we make strides toward making ourselves a positive destination.”

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