The Town of Farmington Board received a recommendation to continue their current moratorium on any mining expansion during a meeting with their attorney Friday, January 10. The continued pause will give the board time to further consider any impacts to the community, consult expert opinion, and ensure any future mining ordinances will be in the best interest of all.
The initial freeze on mining permits, passed September 21, halted any possible expansion of the North 40 Resources mine until late March of 2020. In order to meet with experts, and give the town board and Quarrying Expansion Committee time to review results before moving forward, attorney Paul Mahler recommended a three month continuation of the moratorium already in place.
“You’ve put a lot of work into this,” he said. “You’ve established a moratorium, you’ve formed a subcommittee who have put in a lot of time and effort and looked at a lot of things… So, take that information that the committee put together and draft that into an ordinance that involves different interest groups… it should reflect the town as a whole.”
During this pause, Mahler recommended that the board not accept any permits from the mine. Though this meting was only a recommendation from their attorney, the board directly indicated bringing the proposals to their next regular board meeting, February 1 for action. Should the board decide on continuing the moratorium, the town will likely consult hydrologists and engineers and work with the committee to create guidelines for future permits that will protect the community and allow business to continue at North 40 Resources under proper ordinance.
At the end of the meeting, chairman Dennis Cotter closed with, “We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”