Judge Nixes Soil Referendum
Seventh Circuit Judge Mandel has signed an order prohibiting the county from tabulating votes on the Soil Farm Referendum.
In June, County Commissioners passed a Resolution stating that they had no conflict with plans by High Plains Resources, an Edgemont company, to build and operate a soil recycling facility just west of Edgemont. The county resolution was just one required step in the State’s permitting process, with the ultimate approval to be left with the State’s Department of Energy and Natural Resources.
Opposition to the project, led by Susan Henderson, circulated petitions to refer the county’s resolution to the vote of the people on the Nov. 4 ballot. The required number of signatures were obtained and the Referendum was placed on the ballot.
However, High Plains filed legal papers asking the Court to prevent the Referendum on the basis of the belief that a Resolution (unlike an ordinance) cannot be referred.
The judge has so far agreed with High Plains and set a hearing for Oct. 31 at which time the County may present arguments about why the Referendum should be continued.
Meanwhile, the Referendum stays on the official ballot, but that portion of the ballot will not be counted. This could change if the judge rules differently at the October hearing.