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OTTAWA — A proposed “transload facility” for sand received a nod from La Salle County zoning officials while those opposed left disappointed despite concerns.
La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously recommended the full county board approve a special use permit for Dan and Josh Voss who intend to construct a $6 million-$7 million facility to store and haul silica sand. The facility would be on the northeast corner of the Interstate 39 and U.S. 52 interchange outside Troy Grove.
“With our mining operation I have to store and ship the sand somewhere so I felt it should stay local,” Dan Voss said. “We use local people to build the facilities and we hire local workers.”
The facility would be used to store finished silica sand from the Voss’ mining operation in northeastern La Salle. The sand is to be hauled by trucks using Interstates 39 and 80.
Originally, shipping plans called for emptied trucks heading back to the mining facility to use East Eighth Road but after many people in attendance testified and complained about the commonly used rural road, the Vosses offered to change their shipping routes.
It is common for industry builders to offer concessions to nearby property owners if a particular business practice could be harmful to their property. For example, most mining companies will offer cash to adjacent property owners to make up for the loss of land value.
However, Jim Stevenson, who owns property near the proposed site, took issue with an alleged cash offer the Vosses gave to the neighboring Kobilsek family.
Details of the agreement were made confidentially, but Stevenson alleged the Vosses paid $100,000.
But concessions are not a concern of the ZBA, said board member Larry Bianchi.
“I’m not the ethical judge here,” Bianchi said. “The idea that they addressed the concerns of those people living adjacent to them is a plus to me. How they did it is not my concern.”
One concern that was not addressed was made by nearby property owner Susan Sack.
Sack said she was concerned semis waiting to turn left into the facility might back up traffic and make it dangerous for eastbound motorists on U.S. 52 who are traversing the I-39 overpass.
“It’s the route I take and my children take,” she said. “There is going to be a lot of truck traffic there so it’s not just this facility but all of them expanding.”
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Article comment by:
Hey, Both LLC's and corporations easily declare bankruptcy, skip town, and reappear with new names, when things go south. Also, the sand companies are paying pennies per ton to the communities for quarrying fees, when the sand sells for $75 per metric ton. LaSalle County bumpkins...I mean taxpayers...might as well start saving up to pay the inevitable water transportation bills, environmental cleanup bills, and the silica-related health problems bills.
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