From Patrick Feehan, IRBBA Commodore:
19 May 2016xxxx
To the Honorable Members of the LaSalle County Board,
In the name of public safety, maritime stewardship, and protection of anchorage at Buffalo Rock, we the boating community of the Illinois River Basin Boating Association, implore protection from Northern White Sands announced expansion.
Respectfully, we request that the County Board reject the intent of Northern White Sands Corporation to expand in the area between Buffalo Rock State Park and the LaSalle County Nursing Home. Commercial barge traffic at the Buffalo Rock anchorage would create a clear and present danger to the recreational boating community. Barge traffic cannot quickly stop forward momentum or easily navigate through a densely populated channel. Continue reading
UPDATE, May 10:
On a 26-2 vote, the La Salle County Board voted to not rule on the zoning change until their July meeting. Board members criticized the sand company’s lack of follow-through on plans to build a sand pipeline and barge loading facility after the demand for sand dropped. Read the Times story.
UPDATE, May 4:
By unanimous vote, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the petition from Northern White Sand on May 4th. The matter goes next to the La Salle County Board.
The La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals will consider an application for a special use for riverfront property just east of Buffalo Rock State Park at its May 4th meeting in Ottawa. Northern White Sand, LLC has filed a petition to allow the construction of a “barge fleeting operation” for the “transloading and hauling of grain, sand, gravel or other non-hazardous granular material.” The property is currently zoned for agricultural use.
Background: Northern White Sand owns and, until recently, operated a sand mine north of the state park near Route 6. Continue reading