Le Sueur Co. Board OKs planning/zoning permits

The Le Sueur County Board of Commissioners approved two Conditional Use Permits (CUP’s) as recommended by planning and zoning as part of its agenda for Tuesday, Feb. 26. One permit was for a major expansion of mining operations by the Unimin Corporation in Kasota Township.

P&Z Director Kathy Brockway presented the Unimin application as follows:

Unimin MN Corporation, Le Sueur (applicant), Unimin MN Corporation, Kasota (owner), requests a CUP to allow expansion of an existing mining operation consisting of 1,334.27 acres, with 1,134.56 mineable acres in a Conservancy District of Kasota Township.

“The planning commission recommends approval of the application with conditions,” said Brockway. The conditions include Unimin complying with all applicable county, state and federal permits and regulations.

Kirsten Pauley of Sunde Engineering, consultant for the county in reviewing environmental impact studies of the project, and Grey Lusty, representing Unimin, also commented in response to questions from the board.

Pauley, responding to Commissioner John King’s question regarding effect on water wells in the area, explained that wells are carefully monitored and concerns by property owners are reviewed and dealt with properly. Lusty commented that in years of mining in the Kasota area, the company has not received any documented problems concerning water quality or usage.

“Unimin would like to thank Kathy, Kirsten, the county board and everyone who has been involved with this application,” said Lusty.

The board also:

—Received Ney Nature Center annual report from executive director Becky Pollock, who thanked the board for its support and announced the upcoming “Spring Fling” benefit dinner & silent auction, to be held Saturday, April 27, at the Montgomery American Legion. Guest speaker will be U.S. Congressman Tim Walz.

—Approved recommendations of Human Resources Director Cindy Westerhouse, including: Grant regular status to Kandi Larson, child support supervisor in human services; approve telecommute renewal request by Roxanne Billings in human services; renew the phased retirement option agreement with County Assessor Dave Armstrong; change Bill Prepodnik’s status from part time temporary to part time regular; hire Brian O’Malley as a full time maintenance worker in Highway Department Le Center Shop.