There were just under 50 folks in attendance, including the gaggle of six or so Mathy owners, lawyers, consultants, and other advisers, the five-person zoning board, and two secretaries.
Comments fell heavilly on the “against” side, with four of perhaps 30 citizens who spoke in support. Two worked for other local quarries, one owned/operated local quarries for 50+ years, and the last was leasing his land for the mining. Forest thinks it striking that the landowners leasing their land advocate so vehemently for less restrictions on the miners, even though they will have to deal with those operations as much or more than any of the other neighbors.
The presentation by Mathy was very helpful for Forest, not having the background info he likes to, and he learned that this will not be a frac sand mine and in the mining agreement with Wilton Township it only allows mining of limestone. Mining will take place 120′ above the water table at the quarry floor and Mathy/Milestone Minerals has actually successfully reclaimed at least one quarry (Medary mine in LaX Co). That said, this is still a 280 acre property (135 to be mined) which will be sending a truck every 7 minutes down a 14% grade small road used by many Amish buggies and across the Elroy/Sparta bike trail for the next 35-50 years.
Attorney Glenn Stoddard managed to get his speaking time extended to 10 minutes (as he represented four local landowners who are suing the Township for the process of approval and ignoring their ordinance – which Glenn Stoddard wrote) and gave a long schpiel which included a thinly veiled threat of further litigation, should the county zoning board approve the permits that night.
In the end, the Monroe Zoning Board made two alterations to the permits granted by Wilton Township. One involves mining areas in a different order, and the more significant limitation restricts the hours of operation from 6am-8pm, with no Saturday operations (it had been 24hrs 5days/week, plus 6-4 operations on Saturday). These conditions were set for two years, at the end of which, there would be a review and potential loosening or tightening of restrictions.