October 2009 – State & Province News
A federal judge ordered the Clark County Commission to reconsider bids for the Las Vegas Beltway paving project. According to the Las Vegas Sun, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones also barred two commissioners, Steve Sisolak and Tom Collins, from participating in the discussions and decision to make sure the process is impartial. Attorneys for both Las Vegas Paving and Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. have agreed to send the project back to the commission. Fisher Sand & Gravel earlier requested and received a temporary restraining order, arguing that the commission abused its discretion by awarding the contract to Las Vegas Paving. Fisher’s bid was $112 million, while Las Vegas Paving’s was $117 million. An attorney for Fisher said that the non-union company felt it was fighting a pro-union bias.
The Quinton Planning Board unanimously approved Continental Aggregates site plan, NJ.com reports. A few minor changes were made to the preliminary site plan prior to approval. Continental Aggregates must now receive approval to remove overburden from the township committee. For two years, the company has been trying to get the site plan approved. The planning board originally denied the expansion, but a Superior Court judge overturned its ruling. “I think they followed the law,” Mike Foglietta, owner of Continental Aggregates told the reporter. “That’s all I’ve been asking them to do from the beginning.”
The Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA) Board of Directors unanimously approved an agreement with Martin Marietta Aggregates for water rights to its Onslow Quarry in Richlands. According to ENCToday.com, water taken from the quarry flows into an adjacent stream, but the agreement will allow ONWASA to use the water as a viable drinking water source. It will also have the first right of refusal to purchase water from the site at some point in the future. Martin Marietta will provide land for placement of up to 10 well and up to 25 acres of land for a future water treatment plant. Pax Badham, Martin Marietta vice president of natural resources and environmental services, said the land is in the operation’s buffer zone, so the agreement will not adversely affect the operation.
Bart Mathis, a Wilkes County businessman, plans to re-open a granite quarry located on U.S. 421 behind his business. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that there is no zoning in that part of the county and quarries do not fall under the county’s high-impact land-use regulations. Mathis needs an air quality permit and would then be able to open the 35-acre quarry.
Three people are dead and one injured after a pickup drove into a rock quarry, www.kjrh.com reports. Investigators report that the four had been drinking and driving between 60 to 70 miles per hour. When the driver did not stop at a stop sign, the truck hit a rock barrier and went airborne for approximately 240 feet before landing at the edge of the highwall and falling 150 feet into the quarry. All four occupants were ejected. The survivor made a 911 call and was found by emergency crews. She is expected to recover.
Township officials have issued a cease-and-desist order to Gibraltar Rock Inc., and an attorney for the township said it does not believe work can continue on the 302-acre site. Township supervisors have unanimously approved having the attorney file for a court injunction to stop mining, if necessary. According to The Mercury, an attorney for Gibraltar Rock has filed an appeal and said the company will continue mining operations until the matter is resolved at the zoning board hearing. The site development is planned for three stages. The first stage was approved by the zoning board, with conditions, after 67 hearings. Gibraltar appealed some of the conditions, and its attorney says that although it is appealing conditions of the permit, zoning approval stands. An attorney for the township told the newspaper that as long as the operator is appealing, “there is no finality to the zoning decision.”
A judge ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to meet environmental requirements when it issued a permit for Glacier Northwest to build a dock for its proposed sand and gravel mine on Maury Island. King5.com reports that the ruling stopped the project just days before Glacier Northwest was to resume construction. Pete Stoltz, a spokesman for Glacier Northwest, told the media that his group’s science has held up under intense scrutiny. “The project has been reviewed by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Shorelines Hearings Board, Pollution Control Hearings Board, and Office of Administrative Hearings. All have unanimously rejected environmental challenges to our project.” The Corps refused to comment on the ruling saying its attorneys were still in the process of reviewing it.
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