The Village of Osceola has thrown their hat into the ring regarding recent mining expansion issues in the Town of Farmington. At the January 14 board meeting, the village indicated that they would be directly contacting the board of Farmington to become involved in the conversations regarding any expansion that might take place.
The board of Farmington recently spoke with attorney Paul Mahler who recommended a continuation of the current moratorium on any expansion of North 40 Mine until June of 2020. This will give them time to consult professionals and draft ordinances appropriate for a proposed expansion.
Aware of that continuation, the Village of Osceola hopes to use that time to consult with Farmington and discuss their concerns with that board – one of them being the possibility of village expansion.
“The concern is if [the mine] does expand, it’s set to expand, I believe around 200 acres which is right on our border, which is an area where our town has the ability to grow,” said village president, Jeromy Buberl. “We hadn’t really discussed this too much, but now I’m curious to what people’s thoughts are.”
“If you look around here in our town, there’s only one direction we can expand, and that’s south,” said village trustee Deb Rose. “We need to be very intentional in what we do and think about going that direction. We need to really put thought in whether or not we want a big hole there… My thought is that we need to be very careful of what we think as far as an expansion of the mine for our town, and to make sure that we’re providing some protection for residents who live very close to it on village property.”
While no motion was officially made, the Village Administrator Ben Krumenauer stated that he intended to send the Town of Farmington an official later stating that the Village of Osceola wishes to be involved in future conversations on the topic of the mine expansion. It has not been established at what capacity Osceola’s involvement in those decisions would be at this point.
“I can see both sides of this,” said Buberl. “I can see where a business wants to expand. That’s how they make their money and pay their employees. I also understand that having a mine currently the size that it is would be an issue for some of our residents. I just think that we should be involved as a potential expansion could happen.”
Village Clerk Fran Duncanson was officially sworn in during the board meeting.
The board revisited an ATV/UTV ordinance #20-01 and approved changes that would allow ATV/UTV drivers more access to roads, hours and seasonal limitations in the Village of Osceola. The changes would allow year-round use of roadways, limiting speed limits to 35 MPH or less, with the exception of Education Drive due to safety concerns for children near the school.
A payment of $413,170 was approved by the board to pay for a fire truck that will be replacing a 1972 truck. The amount was the remaining balance due on the truck and included the trade-in for the previous truck.