To the Menominee County Board:
As an expert on Aquila Resources and their proposed mine site, I believe the county can have their proverbial cake and eat it to.
There are many issues in having a county tower on any part of the Aquila mine site.
■ Aquila does not own much of the land within its so-called “mine-parameter.” Approximately half of the site is public land leased to Aquila by the Michigan DNR. The remaining portion, where it appears your consultants suggest a tower be built, would not exist if there is a mine as that would be in the open-pit.
■ The mine site plan is constantly changing — and will continue to do so. So planning a tower isn’t feasible until the site plan is approved by EGLE. That could be years.
■ No mine is imminent. And, between ongoing and continued contested court cases and almost the almost assured civil litigation; any mine is questionable.
■ As stated in previous documents the mine site would contain known carcinogens, pathogens, toxic waste, heavy metal contaminants, explosives and various other health and safety hazards. These remain long after Aquila would have gone back to Canada.
■ The mining law requires any building and/or infrastructure to be removed after mining. What then?
The solution: So what of Aquila’s offer? If Aquila is telling the truth and it is going to have a tower anyway, why not have Aquila pay for a tower at Shakey Lakes County Park? This way the tower remains accessible, will not move and avoids the health and safety issues associated with the contaminated mine site? Shakey Lakes Park is only approximately one-mile from the proposed mine site so there would literally be no decline in the service area and Aquila would have a tower to use that they said they’re going to have anyway? Even if it cost slightly more the monies Aquila pledged would cover the majority of the cost — a win-win for all involved.
The question I have not seen asked of Aquila is: “Do you have the money to build the tower now?” If not, why is the county wasting its time?