During the April 5, 2023, Cottage Grove City Council Meeting, council approved a plan for staff to study potential implications of an annexation petition received on March 16, 2023, from Holcim for 119.5 acres in Grey Cloud Island Township. A Cottage Grove Public Hearing was planned for April 19, 2023. Link to the April 5, 2023 Cottage Grove City Council meeting recording is here. Time stamp is 4:33.
Background: Holcim is a multinational building materials company. Aggregate Industries, a local subsidiary, has been operating a rock quarry on 600 acres in Grey Cloud Island Township since the 1950’s. In recent years Aggregate Industries has submitted variance and permitting requests in attempts to expand mining beyond the 500- foot setbacks from property lines. During a April 4th, 2023 Grey Cloud Island Township annexation public hearing, residents, members of the Prairie Island Indian Community and Representative Rick Hansen (DFL) District 53B voiced their concerns about the annexation request and support for stopping the expansion of mining operations. Complaints included desecration of sacred sites, blasting noises, shaking of homes, expenses associated with mitigation due to the loss of well water levels, and concern for the protection of Blanding’s Turtles. Representative Hansen is chair of the Legislative Audit Commission. The commission is studying the impacts of over 500 aggregate mines in MN and requesting citizen testimony to help make legislative changes needed to protect communities going forward. Link to the April 4, 2023, Grey Cloud Island meeting video is here.
During the April 19, 2023, Cottage Grove City Hall Meeting, Major Bailey announced that a planned public hearing for Holcim’s Annexation into Cottage Grove was canceled because Holcim withdrew their petition. Time stamp: 8:01.
Council adopted resolution 2023-058 accepting the proposal on the sale of the $7,815,000. General Obligation Improvement and Tax Abatement Bonds, awarding the bond sale to Piper Sandler. Finance Director Brenda Malinowski and an Ehlers Public Finance Advisors representative presented the request for consideration of an issuance for bonds sold earlier in the day. Due to favorable bids, they were able to reduce the bond issuance by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bonds are expected to pay for the 2023 Pavement Management Project and the Glacial Valley Park building. It was announced that the City of Cottage Grove credit rating was increased by Standard and Poors (S&P) from AA+ to AAA. Time Stamp: 8:26.