A proposal to mine sand and gravel on the St. Croix River faces more scrutiny Tuesday evening from the in Scandia planning commission.
The Tiller Corp. wants to reopen a mine pit that had been closed in the 1980s. The sand and gravel taken would be used for construction material.
As many as 500 trucks would enter and leave the mine daily. However traffic at other mines nearby would drop, said Mike Caron, land use affairs director for Tiller Corp.
But some Scandia residents are concerned about increased truck traffic along Highway 95, and environmentalists say mining will spoil the area's natural beauty.
"This is a national wild and scenic riverway. And it offers experiences for people that you don't find in many places around the country,"said Laurie Allmann, who lives near the St. Croix. "This is not just a local issue, it's really a national issue."
Caron said that Tiller plans to improve the land after five to 10 years of mining.
"We have a pretty thorough reclamation plan that's been reviewed as part of the environmental review process, which would make the site more consistent with surrounding land forms in the area," Caron said.
The Scandia City Council has the final say on the proposal.
*Note: An earlier version of this story indicated the mining project near the St. Croix was up for a vote tonight. Tonight's meeting of the Scandia planning commission is scheduled to only include discussion of the matter.