The July 27 County Commissioners meeting had a Vulcan Mine settlement vote scheduled. ES-CA held a meeting on July 21st outlining the settlement agreement. The proposed settlement is essentially 9 and one half more years of mining with the site along the southern border being completed and reclamation started in 5-6 years and the remaining northern site finishing up in 9 years with reclamation to follow. ES-CA Trust Committee and the County attorney recommend we settle to avoid further legal fees. After the 7/21 meeting LPA Board members received quite a few questions and complaints about giving in to Vulcan and asking how the $60,000 of money collected to fight the suite wasn’t enough to do the job according to the negotiating parties.
LPA decided to ask Commissioner Block to postpone the vote and allow us to have another meeting to clear the air and flesh out all the concerns we had about this settlement. He did refuse to vote saying he’d only gotten the settlement on Wednesday and could not vote something so significant until he fully read it and understood it; as did Commissioner Eichwald. Commissioner Eichwald cited our lack of a commissioner as his reason to buy us time to have one additional meeting. That postponement allowed us time to have another meeting on August 3rd that was attended by about 55 people. The presentation by the ES-CA Trust members who were urging us to accept the settlement agreement because they truly felt it was the best we could hope to get was repeated for the audience followed by an exhaustive question and answer period. While no one was enthused about the settlement no one ponied up any pledges for more legal fees. The County Commissioners voted to accept the settlement at their August 10th meeting.
Vulcan Mine Settlement Meeting Thursday August 3, 2017 at 6:30 -8:30 p.m.
Las Placitas Presbyterian Church
7 Paseo de San Antonio
We held this meeting to satisfy queries, emails, and calls that we and the Commissioners received regarding the details of the agreement that were not completely available or understood at the previous community meeting.
At the July 27, 2017 County Commission Meeting two (2) of the four (4) commissioners voted to withhold their approval of the settlement until the community had another opportunity to read and understand the actual text of the agreement. Along with the Commission, we (LPA and ES-CA) also believe it is important to inform the community about the outcome of the process to the best of our ability. Community cooperation and good will have been essential to crafting this entire effort. As a community, we want to communicate a shared understanding of the settlement agreement and the processes that brought us to this point.
On Thursday 8/10 the commissioners voted to accept the settlement.
The County wanted this settlement and the ES-CA Land Use Protection Trust (LPT), who were our representatives, are urging its acceptance, saying it was the best deal they could broker. While a compromise, the agreement does have an end date for the operation of the mine that is enforceable by judgment should Vulcan not comply. The agreement describes the number of years that each of the four (4) major sections of the mine can operate and then undergo the detailed reclamation plan spelled out in the settlement agreement.