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Can we work together on sand mine issue?

Working Together for Waupaca County is a citizens’ group that formed almost four years ago.

Our purpose is to promote sustainability following the Natural Step for Communities by Sarah James and Torbjorn Lahti.

One of our goals is to encourage every one of the 34 governmental entities in our county to pass a sustainability resolution incorporating the following objectives:

• Reduce wasteful dependence on fossil fuels, scarce metals and minerals that accumulate in nature.

• Reduce wasteful dependence on chemicals and synthetic substances that accumulate in nature.

• Reduce encroachment on nature.

• Meet the needs of all humankind fairly and efficiently.

I am a member of WTWC and am speaking only for myself here.

I am looking at the Union Township sand mine issue through the lens of these objectives.

At this time, when one decision not thoroughly thought through could affect generations in Union, I would like to propose that our officials, the foundry, Gelhar Mining C. and our citizens really put their heads together to try to explore a solution to the conflict that became very clear at the public hearing last Thursday.

“The needs of all humankind” includes jobs. “Reducing encroachment on nature” leads us to preserve the natural areas and quiet countryside that is dear to all of us.

Gelhar Mining appears to be a very responsive company, approaching mining in a safe and environmentally sound way, keeping harmful chemicals out, thus addressing two more of the sustainability objectives.

Waupaca Foundry is a huge employer providing jobs for a good many people in Waupaca County.

The conflict comes when we try to mix 24/7 activity or even 12/6 and truck traffic with rural areas.

How was the sand vein in Union Township found?

There is a lot of sand in Waupaca County.

Is there a way that acceptable sand could be found in an area where there is already 24/7 activity along a state highway that would serve all parties well?

The noise from the pit, which Gelhar is trying to mitigate, would not be as noticeable.

The trucks would not have to travel county or town roads but go right to the place sand is needed.

If we don’t solve this issue, it could lead to destroying the peace and quiet we treasure so much throughout the county and, furthermore, damage our tourism industry.

Our comprehensive plans worked on by so many volunteers, myself among them, were meant to preserve this.

Do we have to accept the first thing that comes along?

The implications of the Union mine go so far into the future that we need to make good decisions.

No one wants the foundry to not have the sand they need or not try to get the best price.

Gelhar sounds like a very reputable company. Couldn’t we work together?

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