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Letter: Presentation long on how swell mine was, short on reality, she says

TO THE EDITOR: Wisconsin Industrial Sand delivered an amazing performance to a close to capacity crowd on Tuesday night at the Bluffs Bar in Hager City.

The folks at the mine wanted to apprise the public of their plans to expand their operations to new facilities in the Diamond Bluff, Oak Grove and Trenton townships. They are requesting permitting for 2,900 acres for underground mining, and a processing and load out facility to move that sand to market.

A series of speakers inflicted a power point presentation on the audience that was long on how swell the mine was, and astonishingly short on what might be considered reality. Some examples of their reality versus a more universal one include:

--The mine said that they don't stigmatize property values, which is contrary to what national and local experts say.

--The mine said that they don't make undue noise, yet they have been switching out sand-filled cars four to five nights a week, waking us up at around 2 a.m. with loud clanging.

--The mine was remarkably short on details such as the number of rail sidings, or the number of train cars they hope to load out per day. Quick math says one rail car equals four trucks driving through Diamond Bluff.

--Mine employees, working underground with moist sand, wear monitors to meet regulations. We're concerned, as well, about dried silica exposure for folks who live in proximity of the mine 24 hours a day.

--The mine talks about an open door policy with neighbors. As a condition to mine, they are required to hold community meetings. This year, they've managed to cancel only four of the five that they scheduled.

Sadly, this meeting did not deliver details that matter. Neighbors deserve better than what was offered.