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Foxconn expected to kickstart mining in Twin Lakes

Foxconn expected to kickstart mining in Twin Lakes

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TWIN LAKES — The Foxconn ripple effect will reach Twin Lakes, where Thelen Sand and Gravel is preparing to begin mining operations to meet increased local demand.

The company, based in Fox Lake, Ill., annexed 1,240 acres into Twin Lakes in 2006 and was given zoning and land use approvals to mine a portion of the land before building homes on it.

The economic downturn decreased demand for aggregate, and the company, which is mining just south of the state line, never commenced operations here.

“With the new Foxconn development occurring (in Racine County), it will significantly draw aggregate from facilities that presently serve the Twin Lakes and Kenosha area,” Robert Procter, who is with the firm that represents the company, said.

While Thelen does not anticipate providing aggregate for the Foxconn project, it is preparing to fill a void that will be created when supply from other aggregate companies rolls to Foxconn, Procter said.

Initial plans in 2006 called for Thelen to begin mining in the north section of land it owns, parcels that reach from Highway F south to the state line.

Because Thelen is now already mining just south of the state line, it is seeking approval to mine the southern portion of the property, south of Highway C.

“This makes the next logical step to begin mining on the adjacent property rather than jumping to the north side of the property,” Procter said.

The Twin Lakes Plan Commission will review Wednesday if changing where mining will begin on the property constitutes a substantial change to the original plans, which would require an amendment.

The alternative is mining to the north end of the property and carrying the aggregate on conveyor belts to the south end of the property.

Regardless of where the mining begins on the property, administrator Jennifer Frederick said more approvals are needed.

“They still need to submit a mining and reclamation plan for each parcel they touch,” Frederick said.

Air quality permits may also be needed from the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Planned Unit Development agreement, which was approved in 2006 and amended in 2009, allows for: extrication and surface mining; trucking and conveying of sand, gravel and aggregate; and the distribution and stockpiling of raw material.

Plans include the use of berms, the height of which stockpiles cannot exceed.

Mining operations were approved to take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. May 15 through September 15 and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. September 16 through May 14.

According to the 2006 agreement, “all extrication of materials shall cease no more than 20 years after mining has commenced.”

The agreement also includes guarantees related to contamination of private wells and in case wells cease to produce water.

Twin Lakes will collect an extraction fee per cubic yard of marketable material, per the agreement. The fee starts at 25 cents per cubic yard and increases to 30 cents on a prescribed schedule. The company estimated in 2006 this would equate to between $180,000 and $240,000 annually.

The 2006 plan calls for mining 350 to 400 of the 1,240 acres before developing 1,240 single-family homes on the land. At that time, it was also estimated the village could also collect at least $7 million in annual taxes from the proposed housing development.

Mining was to commence in 2007 northeast of highways C and KD, with material moved via a 1.5-mile long conveyor belt to Thelen’s processing plant, which would run under highways C and CK.

Excavation of the land will result in a 60-acre, 35-foot-deep lake that is incorporated into a 610-acre open space plan of the future housing development.

The land, formerly part of the town of Randall, has been owned by Thelen since 1971. The property includes the Westosha Airport, which will eventually cease to operate. Randall initially put a moratorium on gravel mining in place to stop the project in an attempt to preserve the farmland.

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