Close to 30 people attended the Deerfield Town Board on February 8, 2016. held at the town garage building. A dozen residents appeared to give public comment at the meeting regarding the Oak Park Quarry dispute.The township has accrued $18,000 in legal fees during 2015 due to this issue. Jon Halverson, owner of OPQ, was there to answer questions.
The Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee (ZLR) has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 23.Halverson and his attorney, Mike Olson, re-affirmed that they are willing to meet with the Town’s attorney, Al Reuter, and Supervisor Nick Brattlie to iron-out application questions and mining and blasting concerns. The parties involved have to date been unable to arrange a meeting .Olson promised he would call Reuter again.
Resident Martha Berninger challenged the Board to adopt Robert’s Rules of Order before commentaries began.She also suggested that the town clerk post past meeting minutes on the Town website. The Board took it all under advisement and moved on to Public Appearances.
Although on the agenda, there was concern the quarry issue could not be addressed due to a conflict of interest on Chairman Mike Schlobohm's part as he has done business with the quarry in the past. Brattlie, who was absent, usually stood in during discussion on quarry affairs. This opened 45 minutes of public comment on the topic.
Landowner Ken Frejlich began with,“I would like to restate what I have said at prior meetings: compromises to the township ordinances have already been made. The board does not need to change, they are not required to change and they should not change the ordinances other than to make them even stronger.”
Close to a dozen concerned citizens voiced their objections to the continuation of the quarry’s operations as they stand, claiming that the explosive charges being set-off were not only a public disturbance but, more importantly, they were creating structural damage to homes, outbuildings and even to the historically significant Liberty Church and adjoining cemetery’s tombstones.
Ronald Anderson, 25-year resident of the township, said that time after time he has been home during the quarry’s blastingand felt the foundation of his home shake.the very foundations of his home shake.
Bill Doubler confirmed that his homestead, dating back to 1847 and built on a drumlin formation of solid bedrock shakes as well.
Discussion continued until everyone had their turn to speak.
After Public Comment, the Board discussed filling the vacant supervisor seat. They nominated and chose Bill Roelof, who subsequently was administered the Oath of Office by the town clerk, Kim Grob, and then participated in rest of the meeting.
Next on the agenda was, review and discussion, with possible action, on the Non-Metallic Mining and Blasting Ordinances and surrounding issues.The discussion was facilitated by Roelof in Brattlie's absence, with Schlobohm still present.
Roelof moderated in an effort to define and resolve issues surrounding Halverson’s recently submitted application for a mining and blasting permit. Roelof clarified what Halverson needs to do in order to have an acceptable application for a permit. He even paved the way to set a date for a conference requested by ZLR prior to its reconvening regarding the possible revocation of Halverson’s present Conditional Use Permit (CUP), as well as the legally mandated Public Hearing prior to Board approval of the permit now under consideration.
The board was hoping to set the date for the next public hearing as soon as possible, however, there needs to be 15 days public notice given prior to the hearing.
A motion was made and carried to set the date for the next public hearing for March 1 at 7 p.m. to be held at the fire department if available.