Zavoral Mine moves forward

Scandia council rejects planning commission recommendations


The Scandia council began its work on the Zavoral Mine permit application Tuesday, Jan. 15 by voting unanimously to use the 2020 comprehensive plan, which was in place when the mine application was first submitted in 2008.

Choosing the 2030 plan would have meant denial of the permit, because that plan does not allow mining at that location.

The planning commission had recommended that the city apply the 2030 plan, which has been in place since 2009.

The council directed staff to prepare a resolution to approve the conditional use permit to allow the mine to operate for 3 to 5 years. Council member Chris Ness voted no, saying he preferred to have the mining completed as soon as possible.

The conditions will include the recommendation by University of Minnesota geologist Scott Alexander, submitted after the EIS was finalized, to require three monitoring wells. Tiller’s Mike Caron said one of the wells is already in.

A condition added by the planning commission to prohibit sand and gravel trucks from turning left onto TH-97 from Lofton Avenue was deleted. Tiller objected because using Manning Trail instead would have added two miles per trip.

Tiller also convinced the council to add permission for sand and gravel trucks to use not just state and county highways but also local roads, when delivering to a local project.

The council will review the resolution, developer agreement, and annual operating permit at its Feb. 12 work session and take a final vote on Feb. 19.