OTTAWA — Calling it a “procedural matter”, Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach began what could have been a long and controversial city council meeting by explaining why they wouldn’t be talking about zoning changes for a barge terminal.
American River Transportation Co., a part of Archer Daniels Midland, wants a conditional use so silica sand can be loaded onto barges at their terminal to handle sand coming from a sand mine proposed for Route 71 east ofStarvedRockState Park.
The plan commission gave a favorable recommendation for the request Monday night but since the city council members hadn’t received approved hearing minutes, they couldn’t take action Tuesday night, according to Eschbach. He said he thinks they could take action on the recommendation at their April 16 or May 7 meeting.
Farley Anders from the south side of Ottawa still took a few minutes during a public comment period to urge the mayor and council to consider the health concerns from non-occupational exposure to silica sand.
Eschbach responded by saying he appreciated the comments but the sand mine was out of the city’s control, but what they can control is how the sand is transported.