Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
MELLEN - Slightly more than 700 people call the town of Mellen, Wisconsin home.
However, that population will likely grow if a nearby proposed mine gets up and running.
The affect that mine could have is up for debate.
"It depends how you look at it," Ashland County Board Chair Pete Russo said. "If you look at it from an economical viewpoint, no and if you look at as a jobs viewpoint, probably so."
With the new bill lacking out a tonnage tax to be shared with local communities, Russo fears there will not be money to pay for the expanding infrastructure and services.
"When they passed that bill down in Madison they took away a lot of the rights of the counties and townships," Russo said.
FOX 21 was unable to get in touch with local tribal officials Friday.
However, Ashland's mayor has had discussions with them and he says they plan to fight this new measure.
"They're coming from a different perspective, no doubt they'll fight this to the end," Ashland Mayor Bill Whalen said.
With treaty rights that allow tribes to regulate nearby natural resources, tribes fear the runoff- particularly in the water- could be devastating.
"Then the vegetation they rely on particularly for wild rice and all the other game will be affected," Whalen said. "They won't be able to have their hunting and fishing rights and live culturally like they're used to."
But a representative from Gogebic Taconite, the company overseeing the new site, says the new bill does not change environmental standards at all.
"The water the comes out has to be exactly the same quality," GTAC spokesperson Bob Seitz said.
Seitz added the new mine will act as a springboard for economic development in an area that needs it.
"You're looking at an area that has some of the highest unemployment and lowest household incomes in the entire state" Seitz said.
Despite concerns for the time being, Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill and make it law on Monday.