Gravel pit planned
Faulks Bros. seeks permit on car show parcel
By Holly Neumann
Waupaca County Planning and Zoning is currently reviewing an application from Faulks Bros. Construction to excavate sand and gravel on the Iola Car Show grounds.
“When approached by the Iola Car show it made sense to work with each other on this,” said Jon Faulks, president of Faulks Bros. “With aggregates being just one of the products/services we provide, this is the type of project that fit very well with Iola Car Show’s vision of improving their grounds, as well as a benefit to the community.”
“We selected Faulks Brothers as our partner in this for some very significant reasons,” Joe Opperman, executive director of the Car Show, told the Waupaca County Post. “They are a local, family-owned company who has been in business for more than 75 years. They are absolute professionals and employ a number of people right here in our own community.”
Faulks Brothers Construction will be open a sand and gravel pit, to extract and process the materials for supplying residential, commercial and concrete/asphalt customers, on lots 2 – 7 on the Iola Car Show Grounds.
The proposed area to be mined is located off of County Trunk J.
Approximately 26 acres of the 93-acre site will be used. Five of those acres are within the village of Iola and the remainder in the town of Scandinavia.
“The sand and gravel materials are a key part to our business,” Faulks said. “Not all areas of the county are ideal for sand and stone. After thorough research, including looking at soil maps and digging test holes, we determined this location would make a good sand and gravel pit.”
Opperman feels that this arrangement will provide a stable revenue stream for the Iola Car show as well.
“The Car Show relies heavily on a successful show each year in order to maintain our business and grounds, and make major contributions to all of the participating volunteer organizations,” he said. “It is a difficult business, and we got a first-hand look at that during the cancellation of 2020.”
Opperman said that they were lucky.
“Nobody should take for granted that ‘the show will simply go on,’” he said. “We operate in a difficult business climate, and the loss of our operation would cause disastrous impact to the community.”
He feels that this is a rare opportunity to generate revenue while improving the grounds to enhance the user experience.
Additional parking planned
“The end goal is for the space to be turned into a more suitable space for parking. It will be leveled out and reseeded to restore or enhance the green space we have today,” Opperman said. “This is an opportunity for the Iola Car Show to develop, grow and thrive which is monumentally important for the community.”
If approved, operations at the sand and gravel pit could last for 10 – 15 years, depending on market conditions and demand.
“While the word ‘mine’ can invoke a number of negative sentiments, this is a very small and simple operation for them,” said Opperman. “The materials being removed are not of the controversial variety, and Faulks is a group who will be very respectful and professional while dealing with our property. This opportunity really is a blessing for the show, and thereby the community.”
There are several steps that need to be taken in the application process.
“We are in the beginning stages of developing this pit,” said Faulks. “The application is currently being reviewed by Waupaca County. From there it goes to the village and town for review.”
He noted that there are rumors floating around the community.
“We’ve already heard many rumors that this was submitted and approved in like two days,” Faulks said. “This is not the case at all. There is a procedure so this is done correctly from a legal standpoint, as well as an informational one.”
Both the county and the town will hold public hearings.
“We are always open to questions and discussion, as well as talking during the public hearings which are yet to be scheduled,” Faulks said.