County board members on Thursday tabled resolutions on a controversial mine project in northwestern Wisconsin. Ashland County Board of Supervisors chair Peg Kurilla said there were two resolutions before the board, on whether or not to support an open-pit iron ore mine in the area. “Basically, both of them were in favor of mining if it’s done in a conscientious way, and safe for the environment and the waters,” she said. The motions were tabled because supervisors feel they don’t have enough information to make a decision. “Right now we’re waiting on legislation from the state, and apparently nothing’s happening in Madison except recalls,” said Kurilla. Mining legislation was drafted earlier this legislative session in Madison, but never formally introduced.
Some board members wanted more public input before any vote on the mining project – which is getting a lot of attention in the community. “We had people in the meeting holding up signs” in opposition to the mine,” Kurilla said. “Something we’ve never, ever seen in a county board meeting before. I don’t know if that will continue or not.” Kurilla said supervisors in neighboring Iron County have already passed a resolution in support of the proposed mine. Gogebic Taconite is in the preliminary stages of test drilling at the mine site, located in the Penokee Range between Upson and Mellon.