The town of Gale Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to deny a rezoning application that would have allowed building a frac sand mine.
In a 5-0 vote, the township board denied landowner Jeremiah Olson’s request to rezone land east of Galesville from rural-residential to exclusive agriculture. Had the board approved his request, the land could have been used for silica sand mining.
Board member Dan Byom said Wednesday the decision was “kind of easy.”
The land sits just off River Drive, a narrow and hilly unpaved road. River Drive is the only Rustic Road — a Wisconsin state-awarded title given to scenic local access roads — in Trempealeau County.
The road isn’t far from the Black River, and is commonly used for hiking and bicycling. Byom said the potential increase in traffic from heavy trucks would cause a problem.
“There’s a lot of people that use that road,” he said. “The safety issue was huge.”
About 75 people attended the meeting Tuesday, and Byom said none of them spoke positively about the proposed mine.
“When the public wants to get involved in local politics, they certainly do,” he said.
The town board’s decision can be appealed to the county and could be overturned. Trempealeau County Enviro-nment and Land Use Committee has already approved 11 mining operations, including one March 13.
Byom said he doesn’t think the county would overturn a unanimous decision.
“I haven’t traveled a lot of rustic roads,” Byom said. “This one is really something.”