County boards needs "more time" in frac mining issue - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

County boards needs "more time" in frac mining issue


WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) --  Frac sand is a large-grained, hard substance that modern miners use to keep rock fractures open for oil to seep through.  It is a big money maker in many states and counties. 

The county board said it needed more time to work on a proposal that would ask the state for help in bringing this modern tool to Wood County.

"Were not sure of the impact or cost to taxpayers. So, we don't want to go any further without knowing the cost," Wood County board Chairman Lance Pliml said.

The county board said they want the state to make a blanket agreement for mining companies across Wisconsin.

If the proposal had been approved, it would have prevented the Wood County Highway Commissioner from negotiate with mining companies. And also prevent any further agreements that would require the companies to pay for the roads they use.

The board says the current proposal needs to be more "legally sound" before it is sent to Madison.

But, Marshfield city leaders say time is of essence.

"These businesses have built their models and now the county board is coming in at the 11th hour and adding a fee," Jason Angell, Marshfield Director of Planning and Economic Development said.

City leaders presented a recent study that showed that frac mining would bring more than 900 jobs and an estimated $58-million annually into the Wood County economy.

"It is huge injection. And any local community, any local economy would want this huge investment," Angell said.

The county board says they will redraft the proposal and they plan to discuss and vote again in a month.

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