Citizens of Mellen Speak up About Proposed Penokee Mine

By KBJR News 1

February 25, 2012 Updated Feb 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM CDT

Mellen, WI (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- The people of Mellen Wisconsin had their voices heard by Wisconsin Lawmakers today, on the issue of a proposed mine in their backyard.

Tucked away on the outskirts of Mellen, Wisconsin is the Penokee Range.

The proposed site of a controversial open pit iron ore mine that supposed to bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the reason the Mellon School saw much more activity on an overcast Saturday afternoon.

John Baker lives one mile away from the proposed site...he's here to ask the Five Wisconsin lawmakers that showed up in Mellen the tough questions.

"That i'm not going to be kicked out of my house and taken off my land at a fair market value or have my well go dry or my home depreciate in value"

He's not the only one with Questions

The majority of people living in Mellen want a mining bill that doesn't compromise or change the environmental laws in WI.

"I think largely the people who want this mine want it but they want laws that are going to protect them and they want strong laws"

Some citizens of the area just want the mining proposal to go away

"Are we willing to say we are known as the biggest open pit mine in the world or are we willing to say we have one of the best water sheds in the world"

Either way, the citizens of Mellen want the lawmakers who heard their voices to go back to Madison, forget about politics and come to a conclusion on a bipartisan law.

"Because if you guys don't work together we all fail so please bring this example back with you and spread it"

State Senators Bob Jauch and Dale Schultz who were at the meeting have come up with a 13 page bipartisan proposal after the mining senate committee was dissolved in Madison.

GOP assembly leaders have dismissed it saying it has parts that are anti business.

The new bill could either take over as the main legislation or be merged with the mining assembly bill in the next two weeks.

Zach Vavricka

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