Will D'Andrea reported that he had received a request for a permit
to change 280 acres of land from use as a special district to an
Excavation districts are used for mining of materials,
rock-crushing and mixing plants.
The land in question is near the east side of the current rock
quarry site. It is bordered by 900th Avenue and 1400th Street.
Such a decision would require a three-quarters majority of the
county board to take action. However, this would simply be the
rezoning itself; opening a new mine would still require state
regulations with numerous permits be met.
The regional planning commission met later in the evening to
discuss the conversion of the land use.
A protest petition has also been filed by the Klockenga family to
try to stop the land from being converted, and that would later be
discussed at the planning commission meeting as well. Klockenga owns
more than 20 percent of the land across from the acreage in
question, and according to the regulations, he has met the
requirement for protest.
Doug Muck, a local attorney and landowner, had stated previously
that he does not think the protest is valid. Materials have been
sent by zoning committee chair David Hepler to the state's
attorney's office to gain some legal insight into this matter. Muck
later appeared at the planning commission meeting to elaborate on
Currently, mining operations are winding down in Logan County.
This is because the supply of limestone, an important mineral used
in farming, in the current mine has run out.
The current nearby quarry is in the process of shutting down
Chuck Ruben, a zoning committee member and farmer, commented that
opening a new mine would be a great advantage.
"We'd have a quarry again," Ruben said. "We completely eliminated
the lime in the central Illinois area this year. You can't get it
here right now."
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Logan County has been having rock for road projects transported
from outside sources, which, due to the high cost of fuel and
trucking over distances, increases costs for the county.
It was also observed that the county loses out on the sales tax
revenues brought in from the quarry, a multimillion-dollar industry,
and there would also be a loss of jobs, thereby income revenues.
The same company that works the current mine is applying for the
land change. Part of this application process will involve getting
permission from the state through the Illinois Department of Natural
Bill Martin said his primary concern was the road holding up to
increased truck traffic. However, the company working the mine may
be willing to help take care of the road repairs if needed.
No outside parties were present for the discussion by this
At the conclusion of the meeting, Hepler summed up in a question
that he heard consensus from the committee to recommend approval
when it comes before the full county board. There were no
Committee members present at the meeting were Hepler, Ruben, Andy
Meister, Bill Martin, Robert Farmer, Jan Schumacher and the county
zoning officer, D'Andrea.
The zoning appeals board will have a public hearing in Broadwell tonight at 7:30 to discuss the matter further.
[By DEREK HURLEY; LDN]