Concerns raised over mining proposal
Iola residents question plan
By Holly Neumann
The Iola Car Show and Faulks Bros. Construction Inc. have teamed up with a proposal to use a portion of the car show grounds for nonmetallic mining.
The plan has made some area residents upset with the idea and their concerns include the environmental impact, public health, air quality, groundwater, road conditions and the negative impact on the quality of life.
“My family and I will be subject to breathing in fugitive dust day in and day out with some days worse than others due to the winds,” Betsy Grant said. “We will hear constant noise from heavy machinery and dump trucks.”
Grant and her family chose to live on Olson Road to enjoy nature.
“That will be replaced with constant construction and industrial noises,” she said. “On top of that, it has a direct impact on the value of my property, which significantly affects my future and what my husband and I have worked for our entire lives.”
Barbara Johnson has lived in the same area for over 30 years.
“We spend most of our time outside taking in the natural beauty of our area and the sounds of nature,” she said. “This project will destroy this and replace it with noise, air quality and environmental issues.”
Johnson said her well was not included in the evaluation for the application for the sand mine, despite this being called out as a requirement in the Waupaca County Code of Ordinances.
“How is this being allowed by the county?” she asked. “The mine site is noted as being in an area where the bedrock is 50 to 100 feet under the surface. Our well is only 30 feet down. How will that impact my water quality? Who is responsible for fixing our water if it degrades due to this project?”
“The groundwater is 20 feet in depth,” Amy Ording said. “Their proposal is to excavate an average of 26 feet and the profiles within the application indicate much deeper depths throughout most of the area, roughly 40 feet. Any contaminant that might be released into the environment may move within an aquifer in the same manner that groundwater moves. Both water and contaminants flow in the direction of the topography.”
Conflicting claims to Krause’s legacy
Iola Car Show Executive Director Joe Opperman previously said the impact of this project is meaningful and that the car show is one bad weather forecast away from a crisis each year.
“I started working the Iola Car Show back in 1975,” Johnson said. “Over the several decades where I supported the show, we came across some big challenges, including weather. It was always something that we pulled together around and found a solution. That is what Chet Krause did his entire life: a way to manage the unpredictable without negatively impacting the rest of the community.”
Larry and Joanne Davis would like to see the whole idea dropped.
“They may have their restoration plan, but I am not impressed so far and I can’t imagine how there could be any compromise,” Larry said. “The only ones who benefit are Faulks Brothers and the Iola Car Show.”
Others feel there can be a better solution.
“For years, I worked with and for Chet Krause, the visionary for the Iola Car Show,” Johnson said. “He built this show to support the local community and make it a better place for our residents. Thinking about Chet and how he built our community into what it is, I do think there is a way for us to come up with a better solution for this project, one that focuses on delivering the best to every member in our community.”
“The Iola Car Show has always been a community-driven organization,” Grant said. “Community is like family and families help each other out when things get tough.
“Our community is filled with smart, helpful people who could assist the Iola Car Show develop a plan for the next chapter in its story,” she said. “It is disappointing that instead of seeking insight from its neighbors, the Iola Car Show sought a corporate solution to a community issue.”