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New quarry not good for Chico

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During the community forum at the March 18 Chico ISD school board meeting, I spoke in opposition to the settlement agreement with the City of Chico and P&K Quarry. I presented five reasons to vote no:

1. Decrease in property values on the east side of Texas 101

2. Air quality issues

3. Traffic safety on Farm Road 1810

4. Decrease in value on 17 acres owned by school near the proposed quarry

5. Decrease in future student body enrollment due to quality of life issues

Superintendent Mike Jones said the school’s initial greatest concern, traffic, had been addressed.

Even if P&K follows up with a request for approval to widen Farm Road 1810 in front of the quarry’s entrance to allow a turning lane for trucks on the westbound lane, trucks will be turning left across traffic onto the eastbound lane.

And even if P&K follows the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) will they be a “good business neighbor” for Chico?

I realize Superintendent Jones is following Mayor J.D. Clark’s public relations plan to sell bringing this business to Chico; however, I know P&K will not be a good neighbor.

The air quality from the limestone dust is creating health issues and becoming a real nuisance since Blue Starr Materials started up just south of Chico, close to the city limits, and the old TXI plant expanded.

I’m concerned about my husband’s health from being exposed to lime dust. He is retired and enjoys keeping our yard and growing a large vegetable garden. The limestone collects on the grass so when he mows, his eyes become irritated, he coughs at night and sneezes.

What are the long-term health risks to our children or to the elderly with chronic lung and heart problems? We do not know, but it can’t be good for anyone.

Living next to a quarry is like a “lifetime” of living next to an active construction site. Noisy neighbors are not good neighbors.

In addition to the noise from big machinery, the blasting could damage water lines creating water leaks and damage homes near the site. A good neighbor does not damage their neighbors’ property.

Families are drawn to a community that offers a safe, healthy environment. Everything green here is covered with limestone dust making our town “gray” – and gray is not the color of choice.

This agreement changes our community forever, and not for the good. Once the land is destroyed there is no way to replace it.

Brenda Rankin