Letter: County should not allow mine to reopen
To the editor:
On this Tuesday, June 5, at 5 p.m. the Goodhue County commissioners are meeting. On the agenda is a request for a limestone mining conditional-use permit and variance to the Goodhue County Bluff protection ordinance.
The dormant mine is between Red Wing and Frontenac, between Highway 61 and the river. That little strip of land is full of bluffs. It's very near the town of Frontenac and the state park. Initially there would be about 50 trucks a day hauling on to Highway 61 and 269th Street, onto the Great River Road.
Wetlands, groundwater, and surrounding wells may well be compromised by the blasting and washing process. Blasting and crushing will create air quality and noise issues in the areas of the town, Mount Frontenac Golf Course, Villa Maria and our state park.
Previous mining of this dormant mine has already destroyed the back half of the bluff. New mining operation should not be allowed to cause more damage. The bluff protection ordinance was put in place to prevent this exact thing.
This type of land use does not coincide with Florence Township comprehensive plan or its ordinance.
So why would we want the county commissioners to approve it when it hasn't even gone to the township?
Please attend the meeting and or contact each commissioner and ask him to reject this conditional-use permit/variance. Tell them the ordinance was put in place to protect against further damage to our bluffs (and water and air.) The beauty of this area is our greatest resource for ALL concerned.
Giving one person a "variance" to make money reopening an old mine and destroying more of the bluff will open the door for more mining permits in the future to demand variances. And they can be big companies that have lots of money to fight small government.
Just as we all have to follow updated ordinances for wiring or septic or building permits, any request for mining in the future needs to follow the updated bluff protection ordinance.