NEWS HEADLINES

City says quarry had addressed safety and health concerns

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, March 15, 2014

It appears the city of Chico is about to reach a neighborly agreement with a new business coming to town.

When city officials first learned a year ago of P&K Stone’s intention to put in a limestone quarry just east of the city limits, Mayor J.D. Clark said they had several concerns and questions they wanted answered.

The questions have been answered, and the concerns have been addressed, Clark said.

“It’s really been a very beneficial process – a long process but a good one, because P&K has been so willing to sit down with us and talk about all these issues and ways to handle it,” Clark said. “They are really trying to be a good neighbor.

“For us, what we are going to end up getting in the end is a new business in the community who has really put forth the effort to become a positive member of that (community).”

The city and school district initially protested P&K Stone’s air quality permit application, citing a list of concerns regarding air and water quality as well as traffic issues.

Tuesday, Clark explained to the council the city’s agreement with the company which addressed those areas of concern.

The city had a geologist and an engineer run seismic testing to simulate the effects blasting might have on city water wells or water towers.

“They all concluded that there should be no impact on our wells,” Clark said. “If for some reason there is, P&K has agreed to indemnify the city so that if something does go wrong with our water wells, they have to make it right. That shows their comfort level that they are willing to do that.”

That same agreement would also apply to any possible damage to the city water towers or the school district’s nearby ag facility.

Regarding traffic concerns, Clark said P&K will seek TxDOT approval to widen Farm Road 1810 in front of the quarry’s entrance to allow a turning lane for trucks.

On the noise issue, P&K has agreed to not exceed 85 decibels, and the city is allowed to monitor those levels.

As far as air issues, P&K will be required to follow the requirements set forth by the state.

Clark said the city will also benefit financially from the agreement. P&K has agreed to buy wastewater from the city and will even pay for the infrastructure involved to make that possible. Once that infrastructure is in place, the city can sell to P&K and other companies wishing to buy wastewater.

According to the company’s air permit application, the quarry is expected to create 10 new jobs.

Clark will speak to the Chico school board Tuesday to get their approval of the agreement. Once everyone signs off, Clark said the city and school have agreed to drop their protest of P&K’s air quality permit application.

If everything goes as planned, construction of the quarry could start in June or July.

In other business the council:

  • awarded a bid for $11,737.60 to Mann Refrigeration for replacement of the heating and cooling system at city hall;
  • tabled action on possible changes to the city’s fireworks ordinance; and
  • received a report on the new officers for the Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department. The new fire chief is John Hobbs.

2 Responses to “City says quarry had addressed safety and health concerns”

  1. As a concerned resident of Chico I would have been at the City Council meeting last Tuesday night to speak to the issue of the agreement with P&K Stone. Since the City of Chico web site is down and nothing was in the news media regarding this important action, I did not have the opportunity due to lack of transparency in our local city government.
    Mayor Clark’s reasons for reversing the City of Chico’s position for protesting the permit for a limestone quarry within the extraterritorial jurisdiction on the East side of the City overlooks the environmental problems caused by a quarry so close to a residential area. No quarries should be permitted north of Hwy. 1810 near residential homes and school properties. Homes near the quarry will lose value; therefore the city will lose tax dollars. Mayor Clark is not a property owner so he won’t be affected by losing value in a home or property.
    Environmental problems with rock quarries are: 1) Dust pollution. Surrounding greenery is covered in a layer of dust. 2) Noise pollution- loud explosions every day. 3) Trucks carrying limestone to and fro cause noise and pollution. 4) Damage to landscape 5) Quarries destroy natural animal habitats.
    Mayor Clark addresses noise pollution by stating the City of Chico can monitor noise; however, he does not state how this can be done. His answer for increased traffic concerns is the owner of the quarry will try to get a turn lane from TxDOT . Clark’s attempt to reassure city residents concerning any damage to the city’s water system ( located near the proposed site) will be the responsibility of the company; however, we are not naive enough to think if something goes wrong the City will not have to prove blasting caused the problem.
    Mayor Clark list two advantages: 1) 10 jobs and 2) city revenues from sell of waste water does not outweigh the risk to our water system, increase in dust pollution, loud explosions and shaking of our homes, increase in traffic and pollution from increased truck traffic. The Mayor’s reasons for flip-flopping on his decision to protest the permit do not take into consideration the residents living on the east side of Chico near the proposed quarry.
    Being one of those residents, I hope the Chico ISD will stay the course on protesting the permit application by voting not to sign off on the agreement between the City of Chico and P&K Stone at the school board meeting tomorrow night.

  2. Tracy Smith says:

    Just what Wise County Needs, Another Company that will run Rock Trucks up and down local County Highways and Roads. Please reference this article from June 2013 Ft. Worth Star Telegram “Stuck Behind Trucks: Wise County Residents wants Gravel Trucks out of the way” http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06/07/4919865/stuck-behind-trucks-wise-county.html?rh=1. Wise County Law Enforcement has already made it publically known of the public nuisance these gravel haulers create not to mention the Dangers to our commuters. Wise County Doesn’t want or need another one of these types of business’. We should look at diversifying our Commerce to improve upon. The platform of fresh ideas in the Clark Campaign have been lost thus far wouldn’t one agree ?! Mayor Clark opposed the EPA ruling that would make Wise County a non-attainment County because of the levels of the locally produced air pollution, and the Mayor wants to create more pollution to force the issue further? Mayor Clark’s Economic Development record as Mayor of Chico has been abysmal at best, so it’s not surprising that he is grasping at anything to improve it. Don’t be fooled Voters.

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