Posted at: 03/12/2013 6:55 PM
By: Katie Eldred
St. Charles to Vote Tonight on Allowing Frac Mine
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A vote Thursday by the St. Charles city council could put a halt on a controversial topic for the area, a proposed frac sand facility.
This vote could bring a big sigh of relief from some.
For almost a year now it's been an issue many community members in St. Charles have been concerned about the proposed frac sand processing plant.
"The safety impact, the environmental impact, just the overall concept it's such a large facility that's close to the community," said Travis Lange.
Lange is just one of the members of Concerned Citizens of St. Charles a group that has gathered more than a thousand signatures to stop the facility from going through.
"There's been a lot of time and energy behind the scenes that a lot of people don't know about,” said Lange.
Their fight may soon be over. The city council is set to vote on whether to annex the land needed for the facility.
"February 12th the township supervisor came and said they were not interested in annexing their property, so really that only leaves two options left to the city," said city administrator Nick Koverman.
And both of those options do not include annexing the land.
"It pushes it back to the company so they would need to make the decision on what steps they need to take, but then the project would be up to the county," said Koverman.
The company behind the plant, Minnesota Proppant, says it hopes an environmental impact study will help its case.
"I think we need to win the city over, I think we need to win the public over," said Mitchell Bublitz.
A spokesman for the company says there are many benefits the plant would bring to the area including jobs as well as tax revenue.
"In Wisconsin they are fracking away and nobody has dropped dead yet," said Bublitz
But the community has spoken and the city council has heard it loud and clear.
"The best part of this whole process is it's democracy in action," said Koverman.
Even though this fight may be over, the concerned citizens know there will be more frac battles to come.
"A lot of work, people came forward that I didn't even knew lived in St. Charles and they've done so much," said Lange.
We'll have the results of the city council meeting on ABC 6 News at 10.