History of Events
Please review the in-depth fact filled, eyebrow raising Position Paper around this issue! Below is a quick overview of how we got here.
- The ‘Perli pit’ originally opened many years ago by the SD Dept of Transportation to supply aggregate for Highway 16. People did not seem to mind because the amount of gravel taken from the pit was insignificant.
- Sometime thereafter a few gravel operations used the pit for odd jobs gathering aggregate in small quantities and hauling in short ‘dump’ trucks.
- The Perli pit was purchased by Croell in or around December 2015. A short time after there was a significant operation with crushers, large front end loaders, and large semi-tractor trailers with pups.
- Croell applied for a construction permit from the Planning Commission.
- This construction permit was appealed by concerned citizens to the County Commission.
- Following several County Commission meetings the construction permit was denied.
- Croell appealed this decision to the Circuit Court and filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit against the County.
- The County hired Attorney Don Knudson to represent them, recommended by the county insurance company.
- The Circuit Court, under Judge Mathew Brown, reversed the permit decision of the County Commission claiming the individuals who first appealed ‘did not have standing’ or in other words, did not have a right to complain.
- The County Commission then filed an appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court.
- The SD Supreme Court ruled late (ca. November – December, 2017 time frame) that the first appeal was correct reversing Judge Mathew Brown’s initial decision.
- The $10 million dollar lawsuit was then found invalid because the initial decision was found correct.
- In the meantime, Councilwoman Deb Hadcock formed an ad hoc committee to study the permit process under direction from the County Commissioners.
- The ad hoc mining committee was almost exclusively composed of aggregate industry representatives.
- The ad hoc mining committee produced OA 17-02 which was controversial and submitted this ordinance amendment to the Planning Commission.
- The Planning Commission approved OA 17-02 with some changes.
- Changes are still being made but if approved by the County Commission this document would allow Croell to apply for and be granted a Mining Permit.