Iola Car Show mining proposal sparks conversation

Residents protest sand mine
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:25 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 10:55 PM CST
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IOLA, Wis. (WBAY) - A proposed mine on the grounds of the Iola Car Show is drawing a lot of attention... from people on both sides.

People in the Iola area got a letter back in October from Faulks Brothers Construction, laying out their intentions to mine for sand and gravel around the car show’s main area.

Greg Ambrosius lives in Scandinavia. Our sister station, WAOW, spoke with him.

“My wife opened it up and read it to me and I said, that’s not true. There’s no way they would do that,” Ambrosius said.

Ambrosius is just one of many feeling some shock after hearing the news.

The Iola Car Show and Faulks Brothers Construction hoping to create a level parking lot for visitors.

“It’s of utmost importance that we are turning over every stone, if you will, to see what’s out there and help us survive and thrive as a business and for the good of everybody,” Executive Director of the Iola Car Show Joe Opperman said.

The letter lays out what the construction company sees as benefits, explaining the sand and gravel taken would create income and “help add stability to Iola’s golden goose after a very challenging last couple of years.”

“We’re not in a desperate situation but we also don’t want to be in a desperate situation,” Opperman said. “Once they’re in operation, you’re really talking about a loader and a conveyor and a screen or two. It’s just a process of scooping and separating the materials.”

A public hearing for people to make their voices heard at the Scandinavia Public Library is postponed until Jan. 4.

Dozens of properties are near where the proposed mine would be... causing some concern among home owners and renters.

“It’s the location of the mine that we’re in opposition of,” Ambrosius continued. “It turns our quiet town into a mine that is being used 12 hours a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year.”

People are also taking to social media. A Facebook page called Stop Iola Mine has gained hundreds of followers.

Action 2 News is continuing to follow the mine proposal.

Residents near Iola car show fear construction noise