The op-ed "Sand doesn't equal community well-being," (Sept. 4) is misleading about the economic benefits of sand mining.
In addition to the 2,780 workers the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports are directly employed by the sand mining industry in Wisconsin, are thousands of other Wisconsin workers whose jobs depend on the sand mining industry.
For example, Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company's Menomonie surface sand mine and processing facility is located on 279 acres leased from Cardinal Glass Industries. This past summer the sand mine was shipping up to 600 tons of sand per day to the Cardinal Glass Menomonie plant, which employees 210 workers.
Before the Menomonie sand mine became operational in 2008, Cardinal Glass had to import sand from hours away in Central Wisconsin and Minnesota. The cost of delivery was much higher than the cost of the product, and it kept going up.
The Cardinal Glass plant supplies glass to all of the major window manufacturers in the area, including Andersen, Pella, Marvin, Jeld-Wen and Weathershield. If you buy Andersen windows for your home, they will have Cardinal Glass in them.
In addition to Cardinal Glass and Wisconsin window manufacturers are the trucking companies, railroads, local contractors and other local businesses that benefit economically from sand mining. Wages, benefits, and secondary employment from the Menomonie sand mine add $2,413,000 annually to the Dunn County region's economy.
Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company (WISC) contributes to well-being of the Dunn County community in many other ways as well. In 2011, WISC donated $216,000 to schools in Dunn and Pierce Counties through the Fairmount Minerals Foundation. An additional $38,200 was donated to local non-profit organizations in the Chippewa Valley. Menomonie employees volunteered more than 700 hours within the community in 2011, working on projects such as the clean up of the Rush River, Adopt-A-Highway, and stocking shelves at local food pantries.
Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company believes an open and honest discussion of sand mining should be based on facts, not false information.