INDEPENDENCE, Wis. (WEAU) - Months after a moratorium was placed on a proposed sand mine, two cities and a township are getting together and trying to decide if they'll be home to a new mine.
Annexation to pave the way for a new mine is what's at stake.
Monday night the Independence City Council met with representatives of Hi-Crush Partners, the company proposing the development of a $75-million mining operation between Independence and Whitehall.
The mayor of independence says they are currently weighing all of the options and waiting to see what decision the Town of Lincoln makes when Hi-Crush presents its proposal for annexation at a meeting scheduled Wednesday night.
“Right now there is no annexation or anything going as of yet. A lot of this depends on what goes on in the Town of Lincoln,” City of Independence mayor Ottie Baecker said.
For the Mayor of Independence, the last few months have been busy.
“We've been trying to do as much homework as we can so we know which decisions are good,” Baecker said.
Soon it could be time for the city to move forward with the company that's proposed a mine that the mayor says could mean big business for the small towns.
“Its income and we are trying to keep our small towns alive. Some people say this is a good way, some people say it’s not,” Baecker said.
But for farmers who grew up on this land, the decision is simple.
“It’s not going to be funny or pretty. It’s going to suck,” landowner Broney Manka said.
As Manka looks over his acres of organic fields he's worried about the decisions that will come along with a big mining operation.
“I’m more afraid of my wells. The land behind me is spring fed I have no protection that my well is going to be there,” Manka said.
A mine spokesperson told me at a meeting last month that the impact on neighbors will be low.
Manka says right now it’s a waiting game, but he says the decision to annex will come either way
“I would say in the next week or two someone’s going to start giving in because they think they are going to get rich off the taxes,” Manka said.
But leaders say they'll still be weighing the options on a decision that will impact multiple communities.
“We aren't running into anything we are taking our time we want to make sure we do this right if we do it,” Baecker said.
The Mayor of Independence says when and if an annexation meeting happens they will have a public information meeting before a vote.