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Shingle recycling plan gets scrutiny

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Ian Gronau | June 17, 2014

TOWN OF LAFAYETTE -- Some town of LaFayette residents are itching for answers about a proposed shingle recycling operation on Potter Road.

The Walworth County Zoning Agency will consider a conditional use permit for the shingle recycling at its meeting Thursday. The meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. in the county board room at the government center in downtown Elkhorn.

Members of the CZA will consider issuing a conditional use permit to Northwind RAS LLC that would make it possible for the company to engage in industrial shingle recycling at the Amon Gravel Pit on Potter Road. The proposal issued by Northwind RAS LLC previously passed the LaFayette Planning Commission by a 5-2 margin and the town board despite considerable opposition from residents.

Bankrupted B.R. Amon and Sons had acquired a stock of shingles, estimated to be about 40,000 tons, that has been sitting on the property that has been in receivership for the past two years. Northwind RAS LLC is negotiating purchase of the property based on obtaining a permit to recycle shingles on the premises that will include both the material in the existing pile, and additional shingles shipped in from neighboring communities, for a 15-year period.

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"I think there might be some misunderstanding about what really is being proposed and what isn't," said Warren Hansen of Farris, Hansen and Associates, who is a consulting engineer for the project. "What they are going to do is come in and clean up this pile of shingles; if someone doesn't do it it'll be a big expense down the road. They are going to operate a shingle recycling area for a 15-year period and then they will close it."

One of the two LaFayette Planning Commission members who voted to decline the conditional use, John Neighbors, said he feels that issuing the permit would be a mistake for a number of reasons.

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