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Saukville
Town approves county quarry plan PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 18:28

Board is still expected to ask for ‘wish list’ items including free maintenance of rural roads

The Saukville Town Board approved Ozaukee County’s reclamation plan Monday for the proposed gravel quarry on the 35-acre Opitz property on Birchwood Road.

That approval came after protracted deliberations by the county and town and with an asterisk.

Under state code, an approved reclamation plan must be on file before quarrying operations can begin. The county acquired the Opitz property two years ago in hopes of tapping more than 400,000 cubic yards of sand and aggregate gravel, expected to be sufficient for seven years of road maintenance projects.

The county submitted a preliminary plan in January, but the town’s Quarry Committee took issue with several points and asked that the document be reworked.

The committee contended the plan failed to meet the requirements of the state’s administrative code in several areas.

Based on input from county officials, an amended plan was prepared by Dale Buser of Stantec Consulting and reviewed by the town’s consultant, Mindy Ochs of Endpoint Solutions.

Quarry Committee Chairman Victor Frank told the Town Board that Ochs is now satisfied that the plan meets the proscribed state requirements.

The amended plan does not combine the proposed Opitz quarry with two other adjacent pits owned by the county. The county contended altering the existing reclamation plans for the three properties would be too costly and is not required by the state.

Although Frank said the town has no grounds to reject the reworked plan, he hopes the county is willing to work with the town on a number of “wish list” items.

Most of the items he suggested would be in the form of indirect compensation to the town for hosting the quarries.

“The county should be willing to repave Lakeland Road from Highway 33 to the county’s asphalt plant. I would consider that a no-brainer, because the bulk of the traffic is their trucks,” Frank said.

He suggested the county also maintain the town’s gravel roads at no charge and fill potholes using materials it is removing from the local gravel pits.

“It is important to note the Town of Saukville has hosted quarry operations for 40 years and has never gotten anything for it. It has been all take and no give by the county,” Frank said.

As a final point, he asked that the county agree to maintain a 200-foot buffer zone between quarry operations and neighboring property lines.

“I’ve lived next to the Gunther pit and dealt with the loss of property value, the noise, the dust and the trespassing. I don’t want to see any other town resident suffer that,” Frank said.

The list of concessions was supported by committee member Marvin Hoffmann, a former town chairman.

“This is a natural resource that is being removed from the town and gone forever. It is time we got compensated for it,” Hoffmann said.

Town officials agreed a resolution seeking concessions should be crafted by the Town Board and presented to the County Board for consideration. That action is expected early next year.

The board’s final approval of the reclamation plan was conditioned on the county providing proof that all necessary state and county permits have been secured.


 
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