Friends of the Sunrise River
Meeting Minutes from 22Feb2012 Meeting
Attendees: Marilyn Bobick-Johnson, Joyce Marienfeld, Ken Giesen, Jean Adair, Pete Johnson, Peter Holte, Mike Pritchard, Randee and Vince Carroll, Vicki Wyss
REMEMBER TO VOTE IN YOUR TOWNSHIP ELECTIONS IN MARCH
Sunrise Township Annual Meeting and Election will be held on Tues. Mar 13th. Marilyn Bobick-Johnson is running for Clerk, Joyce Marienfeld, Pete Johnson and Vicki Wyss are running for the 2 Planning Commission seats.
Kost Dam Park: Marilyn invited Laird to the meeting bur he was unable to attend. He is willing to come when his schedule permits. We will try to plant a couple more trees if we can get them from Pete Johnson’s friend this spring.
Chisago County Water Planning Commission: Joyce (member) asked us for input to provide to the Water Planning Commission on what is important to us, and what should go into the county water plan. We proposed the following – let Joyce know if you have others that you feel are important:
Presence of excessive milfoil and carp in reservoir above Kost Dam
Phosphorus and sediment from the Sunrise River into the St. Croix River
Affect of frac sand mining on our water
Point sources of fecal coliform in the North Branch of the Sunrise River
Protection of the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer
Tiller Sunrise Gravel Pit Update: Marilyn, Joyce and Vicki attended the Sunrise Township Board of Supervisors meeting on 16Feb2012. Mike Caron, Director of Land Use Affairs, Tiller Corp. was present, along with Steve Putnam, Chisago County, to give an update of the recent and future activities at the Sunrise sites, and answer questions from the Supervisors and concerned citizens. Tiller acquired the Don David site about 12 yrs ago, and just acquired the Townsend site last year. Each site is currently permitted under a separate CUP. Tiller had begun the EAW before they acquired the Townsend site, but when that site was acquired they stopped the EAW until they could combine both sites under the same CUP and carry out one EAW for both sites. The EAW process will take about 6 months, and they need information form the MN Historical Society and the DNR. In the past, all gravel from the Sunrise pits was used for local projects. In the past year they have gotten involved in industrial sand mining for fracking sand. They bought property north of North Branch, along the railroad line, to sort, wash and load the frac sand onto rail cars for shipment to out of state drilling locations to the west. Tiller has been using the Sunrise site to store sand that will be processed at the North Branch facility. In Nov-Dec of 2011 they hauled 190,000 tons of sand from their Grantsburg WI mine to the Sunrise site. One concerned citizen stated that they counted 20 trucks in 10 minutes on River Road, which is gravel. Other concerns expressed by local citizens pertained to silica dust blowing and the potential health hazards (silicosis), the amount of water being used and potential affect on local wells, the affect of the heavy truck traffic on River Road, trucks parking along River Road waiting to get into the pit and blocking car travel, and diesel exhaust from idling trucks. Mike stated that the silica present at the Sunrise and North Branch sites is not the kind that causes silicosis, and that they are not doing any crushing operations so they are not forming it. They do have a well at the Sunrise site, and the water appropriations permit is issued by the DNR. Their wash water is discharged into settling ponds and reused. He stated that no chemicals are added to the washing process. He also stated that they are washing only at the Sunrise site, no screening of frac sand is being done there, although they do perform screening of the gravel there. Tiller’s intention is to wash the frac sand they have stored at the Sunrise site currently, then generate Class 5 gravel until the new permitting is in place. The trucks hauling frac sand from the Sunrise site to the North Branch site take River Road to County Road 9 into Harris, then south on County Road 30 to the North Branch site. The mining limits are to the north of River Road, not south. Mike said Tiller was “open to discussion” about them taking responsibility to make improvements to River Road, such as widening it or paving it. It was stated that part of the EAW will determine how close to the Sunrise River mining can take place.
There are lots more questions arising, and I may not be accurate in some of my notes above, so feel free to send corrections. Mike said that he/Tiller would be happy to answer questions that come up, or if local residents have complaints to call him. His contact information is 763-425-4191, 612-719-0259 (Mobile), 763-425-7153 (FAX), or e-mail email@example.com
Brown’s Creek Watershed: Vicki sent a note to their contact about the Legacy Grant they received to reduce phosphorus levels but has not heard anything yet.
PICKM Alliance (Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kannebec, Mille Lacs) Alliance of lake and river groups: Marilyn was not able to attend the Feb meeting. If anyone is interested in attending the future PICM meetings please let Marilyn or Vicki know – we are having a hard time attending the meetings due to work conflicts. The meeting schedule is:
Wednesday, April 25
Wednesday, June 27
Wednesday, August 22
Wednesday, October 24
Wednesday, December 26 – NO MEETING
The meetings will be from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, at the Park Café in Braham.
Website: Peter wants to get the website subgroup together to work on getting information onto the website.
2012 Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting is set for Thurs. Apr 26th, at the Sunrise Community Center. We have ideas for guest speakers and are in the process of contacting them to determine their availability – stay tuned. We will hold elections of offices and Board members – if anyone is interested in serving on the Board or an office, please let Marilyn or Vicki know. Marilyn will give an update of the past year’s events. If anyone has ideas on potential topics of interest or activities for our group, the Annual Meeting is a good place to bring these up.
2012 Sunrise River Cleanup: We set a tentative date of Sat. May 19th, water level permitting – more information to come.
2012 Spring Highway Cleanup: We set a tentative date of Sat. Apr 21st – more information to come.
March Meeting: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 6:30, Sunrise Community Center – open to all members – we will try to show the documentary “Gaslands”, (or at least half of it depending on how long it is) as an educational opportunity due to the dramatic increase in frac sand mining in MN and WI..