Trempealeau County Community Files Response To Annexation Lawsuit

City Of Independence Says Allegations They Illegally Annexed Frac Sand Mine Lack Merit


The city of Independence in Trempealeau County has officially responsded to a lawsuit claiming it illegally annexed a frac sand mine, saying that the suit is without merit.

To get to the sand mine that lies more than a mile outside of its city boundary, Independence annexed a strip of land through two towns of Lincoln and Burnside. Those towns subsequently sued Independence, claiming the mine property wasn’t contiguous with the city. The state Department of Administration has concurred with that assessment.

In the court filing, Independence says the towns don’t have the right to sue and that the Department of Administration’s review was flawed.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Mayor Robert Baecker said he sympathizes with the towns that filed suit.

“I feel bad for the townships because they lose this land, they lose this tax base and we as a city are looking to try and keep the small towns alive — get more industry in, good paying jobs,” he said.

Texas-based company Superior Silica Sands has agreed to pay 15 cents per ton of sand it produces if the city works with it on regulations. It’s also paying all related court fees for Independence.