Archive for Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Residents continue fight against proposed mine

September 11, 2002

Round one: area residents.

Round two: ???

Area residents landed the first punch last month in their fight to stop construction of a proposed mining operation near their Leavenworth County homes.

The Leavenworth County Planning Commission voted 5 to 4 against recommending approval of a special-use permit needed by Rocca Processing L.L.C. to operate the mine, which would be located at 158th Street and Golden Road, west of Bonner Springs.

Several nearby residents say they are worried the proposed mining operation could have consequences for surrounding cities, including Bonner Springs, Basehor and Linwood. They have voiced their opposition to the proposal in recent months in hopes that county officials will put a stop to it.

The proposal is now scheduled to go before the Leavenworth County Commission at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. The three-member County Commission will have the final word on whether to allow construction of the mine.

According to the company's application, the mine would eventually encompass approximately 3.8 million square feet of underground space, where employees would mine limestone.

Crushed limestone would then be sold to construction companies and developers, many in Johnson County, to be used in making concrete, asphalt, roadbeds and other products.

Residents have said they believe the proposed mine could cause several problems, including lowering property values in the area, polluting the environment and worsening road conditions.

At last month's meeting, John Zoellner, Leavenworth County planning director, said the main stickling point in regard to the proposed mine is whether area roads could handle the truck traffic.

"Our position as a staff is that the prime problem here is the transportation issue," Zoellner said.

Large trucks, some which could weigh up to 28 tons when full, would make up to 200 trips per day from the site, county officials estimate.

Residents contend that area roads were not built to handle that type of traffic, and they worry that approving the mining operation would create a safety hazard.

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