Written by Dick Ulmer of the ES-CA Land Protection Trust:
At the May 4 Sandoval County Commission, the Commissioners met in closed session to discuss the litigation with Vulcan. A pending settlement agreement has been reached between Vulcan and the County. However, if the Commissioners agree to such a settlement, it will allow an expansion of the area to be mined by removing a key buffer area protecting residents surrounding the mining operation, and further extend the duration of the mining activity. Thanks to all the Placitas residents that attended this meeting.
We expect our County government to fight for us. We expect that County staff will work in the best interests of Sandoval County residents. We do not believe that the proposed settlement is in the best interests of Sandoval County residents. We had a standing-room-only packed commission chambers and several of us delivered our messages during the public comment period so that the Commissioners are informed and we have the proper information on record (the meeting was recorded and can be reviewed on the County website). What we felt to be an acceptable solution is fair and equitable to all parties.
The commissioners were not permitted to comment as it was regarding “pending litigation.” At the end of the session they went into closed session to talk about the case. When they came out they still didn’t have anything to say (although on the video that the chairman said, “no action was taken”—but we do not know what that means to us).
We had expected that one of the terms of the Vulcan proposal would require that the settlement would be filed in 5 days—and we have not seen any notice of that happening. We will continue to fight for a fair settlement and we will post new information as we receive it.