The mining company is requesting to rezone the land from
Agriculture District and Special District to M-3 Extraction District
so it can be used for a new fly ash disposal facility. The property
in question is located one mile southeast of Elkhart, adjacent and
north of the current processing and impoundment.
Members of the ZBA present were Doug Thompson, chairman; Rick Sheley,
and Judy Graff. The other members of the ZBA decided to abstain from
this specific matter for personal reasons.
Citizens of Elkhart and surrounding area voiced their concerns over
the placement of the disposal unit. Concerns brought forward
included possible toxicity in the fly ash, which may contaminate
water and soil.
Another major concern was the future of the area after the mine has
Several employees of the Viper Mine also spoke to the crowd, saying
that the Viper Mine is always conscious of safety and the
environment, and that not rezoning the land could make it difficult
for the mine to retain the 300 jobs currently under its employ.
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After public comments were closed and final statements were
made, member Rick Sheley made a motion to approve the rezoning
and Judy Graff provided a second to the motion. Sheley voted no
on the motion, with Graff and Chairman Doug Thompson voting yes.
As per ZBA regulations, three votes are needed to approve such a
motion. As a result of the night’s voting, the motion to approve
failed to pass. The final decision to approve the land re-zoning
will be brought to the Logan County Board later this month.
A more detailed report will follow early next week.