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Frac sand mine hearing update
Bridgeport Township
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The Town of Bridgeport hearing ordered by Grant County Circuit Court Judge Craig R. Day may not be scheduled until some time in April, according to the township’s attorney Tim Yanacheck.

“The town chairman is out of state and won’t be back until April,” Yanacheck said. “He is someone all of the parties in the case have agreed is important to be present for the hearing.”

“We would hope he would come back sooner than that,” responded prosecuting attorney Marcel Oliveira. “I think the town chair should accommodate the court schedule rather than the other way around.”

Day made the order to hold a hearing during a pre-trial scheduling conference held on January 21 to discuss a Pattison Sand Company petition to intervene in the lawsuit brought against the Town of Bridgeport by Crawford Stewardship Project and local landowners Arnold Steele, Mark Fishler, Loren Fishler, and Dan Linder.

CSP and the four landowners are seeking to have the conditional use permit, which allows Pattison Sand Company to operate a frac sand mine in the township, voided and the permit application reheard.

At this point, attorneys for all parties involved have received copies of the judge’s statement as to the purpose of the hearing, but disagree on the interpretation of the order.

The Crawford County Circuit Court transcript from the Jan. 21 conference in which Day ordered the hearing recorded the judge’s instructions as:

“Based upon the stipulation of the parties and the proposed intervening party (Pattison Sand), I’m going to remand the matter for further proceedings in front of the town board.

“The hearing shall include development of a record as to the assertion of conflicts of interest. It shall include development of the record, if any, about the issue of the procedural opportunities that may or may not have been denied based upon available physical space.

“And my thought is that the remand hearing ought to occur within 30 days, but I don’t know what kind of notice requirements are going to have to attend by way of public notice.”

Despite the judge’s statement in the transcript, a dispute continues among the attorneys involving what the judge has ordered the hearing to cover.

The attorneys are crafting suggestions regarding the hearing that are being supplied to Day, according to Oliveira, who said the judge is expected to review the suggestions and provide instructions later this week.

Pattison Sand Company is involved in a second lawsuit involving their Town of Bridgeport mine. They filed suit against the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, whose board denied a mining permit application for portions of the mine that lie within the Riverway boundary. A telephone scheduling conference has been scheduled for February 19 at 8:45 a.m. with oral arguments set to begin on March 20 at 2 p.m.