WHITEHALL Wis. (WEAU)- It’s a hot button issue that has an entire town buzzing. Wednesday night, the City of Whitehall was supposed to have a public discussion on a sand mine proposal, but the meeting ended without any public feedback.
The city of Whitehall says it wants to get more answers from Hi-Crush Partners, the company proposing the development of a $75 million dollar mining operation that would allow for 30 years’ worth of mining.
The meeting was set to talk about annexing land for Hi-Crush to mine sand. That's the same company operating near Augusta and Sparta.
A little over 20 minutes into the meeting the chairman called it to an end saying the committee did not feel that they had enough information to move forward with a public discussion.
“I'm going to have to apologize to the people who showed up tonight but I’m adjourning committee until we have some answers,” Committee of the Whole Chairman Dan Schreiner said.
Schriener said he adjourned the meeting Wednesday night before public discussion because he wants to make sure the members of the committee have more answers before they make a decision on the annexation of land for a proposed mine.
“The council is doing what they can to get the information that they need to on this very important issue,” Shriener explained. “With the right information I think the council feels confident that we can make an informed decision for the city.”
Schriener says they'll be looking to Hi-Crush to get those answers soon so discussion can move forward.
“The council would like us to work with their council to discuss some issues in more detail before we bring it up on the public floor again,” Hi-Crush Secretary Mark Skolos said.
Across the road from the proposed site Bill Sylla and his wife say they have talked with people from Hi-Crush and the answers they've gotten have them concerned about what comes next.
“We live out in the country for a reason. We like it quiet, you can’t hear anything and we like it that way and we aren't going to have that for very long,” Bill Sylla said.
The Syllas say their little piece of paradise in the countryside might not be as peaceful with work and possible blasting going on at the proposed mine.
“When we are out in the fields picking strawberries in the morning the people enjoy hearing the cows, they enjoy it. It is what Trempeleau County is known for,” Angela Sylla said.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, Hi-Crush officials said the noise levels would be regulated by state law and they did not expect frequent blasting at the proposed site in Whitehall.
“The blasting is infrequent and I would be surprised if the neighbors could hear it at all,” Skolos said.
The City of Whitehall says it’s not sure when they will have another meeting to have public input but they plan on posting that information when it becomes available.