October 24, 2013

City wants frac sand cleanup

By Jerry W. Kram

The New Town City Council is fed up with a mess that has been developing at the Wildcat Minerals facility in New Town.

Wildcat Minerals brings in frac sand by rail and transfers it to trucks for delivery to oil rigs. It is located in the old elevator along the Candian Pacific Railroad line. In 2012, the council voted to allow Wildcat Minerals to put gates on either end of the road past its facility to control access and to make the area easier to maintain.

Last July, Frank Sillitti sent the council a letter of complaint, saying that Wildcat Minerals had allowed trash and sand to pile up on that street. He also said the sand had block the drains that carry water to the south away from New Town, and that in heavy storms, water backed up and threatened businesses along Main Street. The council responded in July with a letter tell Wildcat Minerals to clean up the area.

At the council’s regular meeting on Oct. 16, councilman Bill Oliver reported that the mess on that street was worse than ever. The drains going under the railroad were nearly completely blocked and the gates that had been installed were being left open. He added that when the wind blows, the area creates a blanket of dust and sand all over downtown New Town. Oliver, who used to be the local manager for Wildcat Minerals, asked what could be done about the problem.

City Attorney Bill Woods told the council they could declare the site to be a nuisance. Then, the city could notify Wildcat Minerals that they have to clean up the area. With the nuisance declaration, if the area isn’t cleaned up, the city can send in its own crews to do the clean up. The cost of that cleanup would be added to Wildcat Minerals property taxes as a special assessment.


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