Signs like this one along Highway 11 near Highway 120 in Spring Prairie have popped up in the township since a gravel pit was proposed last summer. (Photo by Tracy Ouellette)

By Jason Arndt

After more than two hours of debate, including voices of opposition, the Town of Spring Planning and Zoning Commission narrowly recommended approval of a proposed gravel pit Thursday.

The recommendations include rezoning three parcels from A-1 Agriculture to M-3 Mineral Extraction District as well as conditional use permits for each parcel.

The three parcels sit east of Highway 120, north of Highway 11, west of Hargraves Road and south of Potter Road.

The approvals, which came on 3-2 decisions, will move to the Town Board for consideration next month.

At Thursday’s meeting, meanwhile, residents packed the Town Hall with more than a dozen speaking out against the proposal presented by Union Grove-based Asphalt Contractors, Inc.

Asphalt Contractors, which brought several officials to explain the project, plans to use the three parcels spanning more than 200 acres for extracting sand and gravel,

But representatives from the company indicate they will only mine up 20 acres at a time.

Residents, however, expressed concerns about traffic safety, environmental disruptions, noise pollution, possible decline of property values and changing the town’s rural character.

Divided commission
Plan Commissioner Paul Miller motioned to deny the rezone request with a second from Lis Friemoth.

But other commissioners John Lutz, Robert Wetzel and Tony Fincutter rejected the motion with no votes.

Fincutter then motioned to approve the rezone request and conditional use permits with Wetzel and Lutz in support.

Miller and Friemoth, meanwhile, voted against the matter because both believed the proposal did not meet the town’s best interest as well as land use plan.

To read a complete version of this story, including comments from residents who opposed the plan and from the owner of Asphalt Contractors Inc. during the lengthy meeting, see the Jan. 23 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.