County eyes sand mine foreclosure

Trempealeau County is preparing a foreclosure case against Arcadia property owned by CSI Sands Wisconsin in Arcadia, a sand mining operation on Thompson Valley Road that owes over $345,000 in property taxes.

Trempealeau County Treasurer Lauri Halama said Monday steps are underway to foreclose on the property, a process that can take several months. She said CSI owes $345,291 for three years of unpaid property taxes, including $151,890 that was due this year.

The company also owes roughly $50,000 to the city of Arcadia for unpaid personal property taxes.  Arcadia officials are attempting to get in touch with the company to determine whether its conditional use permit to mine sand is still valid. 

Berg said CSI did renew a reclamation bond that sets aside guaranteed money to restore the mining site. Arcadia officials have previously said that the property could not be restored to, for in-stance, land suitable for housing with the existing CSI bond of roughly $722,000. In 2021, Arcadia engineers said restoring the site would include leveling a 40-foot cliff and could cost $2 million.

Halama said the county will initially do a title search on the property, which can take months. Once the foreclosure goes to court, the property will still have eight weeks to recover the property, she said.

There does not appear to have been mining operations at the site for several years. CSI also received a federal loan of $356,035 in 2020 to save 17 jobs at the site though at the time the mine did not appear to be operating. According to data from the federal department of revenue, the loan has not been repaid.

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