Bridgeport Town Board denies hearing request
By Ted Pennekamp
The Bridgeport Town Board voted 2-1 to deny an administrative hearing request by the Crawford Stewardship Project and four other plaintiffs during a meeting Wednesday night. Board member Rodney Fishler voted in favor of the hearing stating, “The hearing is to answer the people’s questions. They were promised (answers) by the board.” Board members Mike Steiner and John Karnopp voted against a hearing on advice from the Town’s Attorney Todd Infield, who noted that the motion for such a hearing was filed in an untimely manner. The motion needed to be filed within 30 days of the board’s decision in March to grant a permit for the Pattison Sand Company of Clayton, Iowa to open a frac sand mine on property along the Wisconsin River and Highway 60 in the town of Bridgeport. The motion was not filed within 30 days.
Attorney Glenn Reynolds representing the plaintiffs requested the administrative hearing following the Bridgeport Board vote on Aug. 14 to allow Pattison Sand to commence mining. According to his letter to the Town Board, “The law requires that a town board provide an administrative hearing for parties appealing a town decision. The point of such a hearing is to allow the aggrieved parties to present additional evidence and to request that the town board reconsider its decision” The memo also states, “The board itself raised concerns that are still not answered. In approving Pattison’s conditional use and reclamation permits in March 2013, the board relied on state-level agencies such as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to issue permits that would impose conditions on the mine. However, the permits the DNR later granted to Pattison lacked many of the conditions that would address the concerns raised, and even exempted Pattison from certain requirements imposed by state law.”