Posted at: 10/02/2012 6:37 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Proposed Frac Sand Depot Has St. Charles Split
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A possible 70 million dollar frac sand processing plant and rail depot is stirring up controversy in St. Charles.
A 300 acre soy bean field outside of St. Charles could soon be one of the largest frac sand processing plants in the country. But with the mining of the sand being so controversial there are a lot of pros and cons to be weighed before that can happen.
"It seems like a 50-50 mix," said Nick Koverman.
Koverman, city administrator of St. Charles, says the idea of a large frac sand processing plant has many concerned.
"Not knowing the impact it will make, some of the immediate concerns are truck traffic, water table issues, noise, and dust," said Koverman.
Despite those concerns Koverman knows that the town is in need of new business.
"It would offset of those numbers, in 2009 with the North Star Foods fire we lost approximately 250 jobs in the area," said Koverman.
The Investor group Minnesota Proppant says the proposed processing plant and rail depot would see around 50 trucks a day and would send one full rail cart up to North Dakota daily.
"This is a state of the art plant and we have taken into consideration and have gone above and beyond what is necessary," said Jennifer Dessner.
She says the plant would be different from others in that they would do everything they could to cut down on environmental concerns. She says the 70 million dollar plant would benefit the town of St. Charles in many ways.
"We're really thinking that there is easily 200 jobs available, good paying jobs with benefits, in a community that has suffered greatly," said Dessner.
The city says those benefits cannot be ignored.
"It could mean a windfall for the area."
Just to give you an idea of the value of the sand it's estimated that farmers or land owners that sit on the sand could make and extra $200,000 to $800,000 per year.