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Community in Morgan County opposes proposed permit for nearby gravel pit

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Nov 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-13 09:19:46-05

MORGAN COUNTY - A community in Morgan County wants to stop a construction company from working in its area.

The Rollins Ranch subdivision sits only a few hundred feet from a 51-acre plot of land owned by Staker-Parson Construction company. The plot, by and large, is used to mine gravel. However, the land has sat dormant since 2008, and the construction company's most recent permit to mine gravel expired in 2010.

With that in mind, residents in the nearby development moved in to the area.

“We were told that the operations had ceased, and that the permits on the land had expired,” said Nina Rhoades.

Rhoades moved into the community just a few months back and said she was surprised and concerned when she noticed construction in a nearby lot start up.

“I think most of us wanted to immediately panic," said Andrea Harris, who lives in the neighborhood. "Especially the couple houses here that hadn’t been closed on. I know a couple people that have actually walked away because of the gravel pit."

Harris says that a number of people are shying away from buying houses in the area until a decision is reached on the construction company.

Both concerned residents and representatives from Staker-Parson met at the County Planning Commission meeting Thursday night to find out if the commission would allow the construction company to get a new permit to allow them to continue mining on the land.

"We do not need another gravel pit in Morgan county," one concerned resident spoke out.

Other residents pointed out potential health concerns over dust particles and silica dust that would be blown off site and into adjacent neighborhoods.

"Even the loading and dumping of rocks sends these carceginic particles into the air,” Rhoades said to the commission.

Representatives from Staker-Parson, however, countered with solutions to keep dust particles to a minimum and explained that they are looking to mine only 6 acres of their 51-acre lot. They say they have plans to exit the property upon the operation's completion.

The County Commission is expected to make a final vote on the permit sometime in early December.