For the second time this month, the Osceola Village Board held a special meeting in regards to extraterritorial zoning and the North40 mine. 

This last one, held on Aug. 27, was to hear from community residents on their thoughts after the ordinance for North40’s planned expansion passed the Town of Farmington board. 

Roger Pagel spoke on behalf of ETZ and addressed his biggest concern of development along the St. Croix River. 

Rita Rasmussen wondered what would happen if the mine ever went out of business and the effects from that. 

Lisa Curry, one of the most vocal speakers against the mine expansion, asked the Board to again consider ETZ. Her comments drew some questions from Board Trustee Bruce Gilliland, who believed ETZ wasn’t going to solve all of Curry’s questions. Gilliland stated he believed the Village could be sued if they went that route. 

“I don’t know if anyone will be happy with a lawsuit,” Gilliland continued.

Holly Walsh opined that if it weren’t for the citizens’ group, the ordinance wouldn’t have the guidelines or protection for the public it currently would have. She also spoke on behalf of ETZ. 

Nora Eiesland questioned the air and water quality guidelines in place, which Gilliland disagreed with, saying he was comfortable with what is in the ordinance. 

Pete Olson, one of the owners for North40, believed citizens’ questions were brought forward and discussed over the last year and change. 

“We didn’t get what we wanted” pertaining to the ordinance, he said.

After the public was done, Board members then offered their thoughts if anything should change from August 6 in which the ETZ request was denied. 

“Nothing said has really changed my mind,” Gilliland said. “We have to do our 2021 budget, capital planning, we have enough on our plate.”

Trustee Van Burch, one of the proponents of ETZ on Aug. 6, was still in favor of it, but he wasn’t comfortable with wanting to take action during this meeting. 

Other Board members also spoke about wanting to work together and being good neighbors with the Town of Farmington, therefore the ETZ request wasn’t even brought up for a vote.

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