Skip to content

School Board opens up floor for comments on proposed sand mine

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – The Glenwood City Board of Education made a special agenda item on Monday night’s meeting so discussion could be had on the pre-annexation agreement, frac sand mining and the proposed MOU with Vista Sand.

There were roughly 25 people that listened in on the discussion and a handful of concerned citizens spoke up in the community comment portion.

The concerns were what have been expressed for over a year now; air monitoring, water quality, truck traffic and the all over well being of the students.

A reoccurring statement also was that parents will move their child/children out of the school district if the proposed mine does in fact take off.

It was expressed by several citizens that money will be lost in the school district and staff numbers will be cut due to lack of students.

Board President, Dr. Charles Rasmussen spoke up during the community comments and asked the citizens how far away would the mine have to be to make them happy.

“The sand is everywhere. If you look at a map of Dunn County and the sand is red, the entire county is red. If the mine isn’t here it will be somewhere else,” said Rasmussen.

The response was simply to just have no mine at all in the area or at least not a half a mile from the school grounds.

The Board was praised for their work, but was also told to work better as a team, to stay adamant and hold their ground, but compromise as well.

Board member John Logghe did speak up later and say that he was disappointed in the Board’s involvement with the entire deal. Fellow member Lori Klinger agreed that more needed to be done.

The comment portion was open for 30 minutes and then Rasmussen closed the conversation and returned to the regular agenda.

The Board discussed amongst themselves about the topic and it was stated that currently they are on their third go around with the MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) draft.

The Board is currently in a bit of a disagreement with the way the MOU is worded. The recent draft received takes away control the Board wanted to have due to the rewording on behalf of Vista Sand.

However, the MOU is an understanding, an agreement between the school district and Vista Sand and the school itself can take a “good faith” view at the proposed mine, but they in fact do not have the control they wish to seek. The district is inside the city and the city is what has the final say.

After some back and forth dialog amongst themselves, the members agreed to not make any further decisions until they got word of what happened at the City Council meeting regarding the pre-annexation.

Regular Agenda

During the regular board meeting, the school was also hosting its 11th annual Mega Band concert. Over 280 students from seven different schools were in attendance and put on a show for those in the audience.

During the Superintendent’s report it was announced that the district received an Educator Effectiveness Grant worth $4,800 from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which will pay for the teachers Teachscape licenses. The Board approved this unanimously.

The Board also approved the Shared Services Contract with CESA 11 for 2014-15.

In the Consent Agenda, the Board approved a handful of items including the fifth grade field trip and list of chaperones that will go to Beaver Creek on March 20-21.

The Board approved the boys’ basketball team to take an overnight trip to the boys’ state basketball tournament on March 13-15.

The Board also approved the resignation of Nancy Hover as the Community Education Coordinator.

The Board approved a list of optional Sunday practices for track and softball. As well as open gym dates for non-school-sponsored activity.