Frac sand mine
Carol Mitchell
A hill being excavated by frac-sand miners in Wisconsin. Watch out, horsie!

Sand, ho! Things are looking up for Vista Sand, a Texan sand-mining company that wants to excavate frac sand from hundreds of acres of farming land just outside the Wisconsin town of Glenwood City. And things are looking down for residents who don’t want their town turned into a mining mess to help out the fracking industry.

Mayor John Larson on Tuesday survived a recall attempt by opponents of the silica mine, with the latest unofficial results showing he secured 183 votes compared with the 140 votes garnered by his opponent. Once results are finalized, we expect he will waste no time in moving forward with efforts to annex the silica-rich land into town limits and allow the project to move forward. From Wisconsin Watch:

The controversy over the proposed mine, which led to the recall, pitted residents concerned about health and quality of life against others who say the mine could be run safely, bringing jobs and a better economic future to the community. The mine would be located a half mile south of the community’s sole school building.

“The recall election is a referendum,” Larson said before the election. “It’s a one-issue election, and so I guess we’ll see what the people say.”

Larson wasn’t the only public official whose support for the mine made him a recall target. Two city council members were also targeted, and they are both leading their challengers by three or fewer votes in unofficial results.