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State and Province News February 2012

Posted By aggman On February 16, 2012 @ 2:56 pm In Articles,Departments,State & Province News | No Comments

To keep up to date with this breakdown of news in the United States and Canada, visit www.AggMan.com [1]for daily updates.

 

By Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief

 

Arizona

El Mirage City Council members, who allowed an earlier annexation proposal to expire, took the first step toward annexation of a county island in the Agua Fria River that would serve as the home of a proposed sand and gravel mine. According to The Arizona Republic, Michael LeVault, mayor of the neighboring community of Youngtown, vowed to sue if the annexation proceeds. Similarly, the president of the Agua Fria Ranch homeowners association — who is also LeVault’s wife — said the association would fight El Mirage “tooth and nail.” An attorney representing the landowners of the proposed mine said that its partner, Phoenix Cement Co., a division of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, has the authority to mine the site whether or not the land is annexed by El Mirage. “When the market tells us it is ready, we will start mining,” Stephen Anderson told the newspaper. “If we do annex, you will have some control over us — that is a clear advantage for you.” He also said the landowners support annexation because they want to work with the city to develop the land once mining is completed.

 

 

California

A proposed operation near Sylmar is drawing concerns from residents in the area. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that Ted Sakaida has revived a dormant application for a 25-acre Sakaida & Sons Surface Mine on his land in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Proponents say a local mine would fill a growing need for aggregate in Los Angeles, but grassroots group Citizens Against Strip Mining in the San Fernando Valley has collected nearly 1,500 signatures on petitions to stop the mine. The Sakaidas point out that the Sylmar mine would alleviate the need to drive 50 miles to Frazier Park and back to haul a truckload of sand and gravel. They say mining local aggregate would save more than 214,000 round trips to Kern County, save $37 million in fuel, and prevent 40 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Indiana

A 45-year-old ranch home in Carmel will serve as the new home for Chaucie’s Place, a non-profit child-advocacy center. The Indianapolis Star reports that the non-profit needed a new home when it was notified last year that it would have to move due to the U.S. 31 road widening and commercial development project taking place at its former location. Martin Marietta Materials agreed to rent the property to the agency for $1 per year. A local high school trades class made many renovations to the home, while a grant from Home Depot covered the building materials and appliances.

Kansas

Hundreds of feet of copper wiring, valued at more than $70,000, were taken from a Lafarge operation near Oxford. According to www.newscow.net [2], more than 1,500 feet of copper wire that ran from a generator to the powered equipment on site was cut and removed from the plant. The missing wire resulted in a two-week delay in operations while repairs were made. The case was featured as the Cowley County CrimeStoppers Crime of the Month for December, and a reward of $1,000 was made available for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the crime.

Montana

A new bridge over Alkali Creek was set to open at the end of 2011, the Billings Gazette reports. Kyle Kastelitz, project superintendent for general contractor Riverside Sand and Gravel, told the newspaper that the company took a little more time than originally anticipated to complete the project, but wanted to make sure it was done correctly. The $6.8 million project includes features such as bridge end rails to increase barrier rail strength, handrails, and sidewalks for pedestrians.

 

Nebraska

Western Engineering, accused of illegally mining gravel since 1993, asked a judge to dismiss a complaint filed by Scotts Bluff County. According to www.kcautv.com [3], the county asked the court to stop mining sand and gravel near the North Platte River near Scottsbluff. It contends that the operator’s conditional permit expired in 1993. In a new filing, the operator’s attorney says that the mining is legal. That filing includes a 1993 letter from the county public works director that says the county “has no objections to the specific location” of the company’s asphalt plant as long as certain conditions were followed. The operator also says the county’s complaint is barred by a statute of limitations.

New Jersey

The assets of Future Mining of Middle Township, which include two sand mining and recycling operations and three tracts of land, are on the sale block. Shore News Today reports the owners of the business are retiring and want to sell the business. Of the three tracts of land, one has preliminary approval for mining and a Class B recycling permit. Equipment would also be included in the sale. The company has focused on mining beach, concrete, and other grades of sand. Reserves are estimated to have a market value of about $74 million.

Oregon

Despite daily fines, a Lane County gravel mining operation continues to mine its site in Dexter, an unincorporated area southeast of Eugene. The Eugene Register-Guard reports that the county has begun fining the owners $330 a day for working without land-use approvals. The developers say the county lacks authority to regulate the mine because it is in an unincorporated part of the county, and mining takes place more than 200 feet inside the property line. County officials contend that another requirement in county code says that mining operations require a review that allows neighbors to weigh in on the proposal’s compatibility with the neighborhood. While approval from the county would be likely, officials say that it could also include restrictions on hours of operation, noise, and truck traffic.

New York

A lawyer working on behalf of neighbors of Sand Land Corp.’s 50-acre pit in Bridgehampton filed a formal appeal with the Southampton Town Zoning Appeals Board regarding the operation. Last June, the town’s chief building inspector ruled that the site was “pre-existing non-conforming” based on the fact that the business existed prior to 1957 when zoning laws were enacted. According to The Sag Harbor Express, the appeal contends that mining was not taking place at that time and was not an existing use. The zoning board members have requested more information on the matter and are expected to resume discussion on the topic at an upcoming meeting.

North Dakota

MDU Resources Group, Inc. has appointed Bill Schneider to the new position of executive vice president of Bakken development. He will coordinate business development and marketing activities of all MDU Resource companies in the Bakken area and report directly to Terry Hildestad, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “The Bakken area is undergoing unbelievably fast development. We can help counties and cities in the Bakken area meet their infrastructure needs,” Hildestad said in a written release. “I’m pleased that Bill has agreed to lead this effort. He is a proven senior executive who can help us maximize our market opportunities.” Schneider has been president and CEO of Knife River Corp. since 2005. John Harp has been named as the new CEO of Knife River Corp. He also will continue in the position of CEO of MDU Construction Services Group Inc. Dave Barney will serve as president of Knife River while Jeff Thiede will serve as president of MDU Construction Services Group.

North Dakota

MDU Resources Group, Inc. has appointed Bill Schneider to the new position of executive vice president of Bakken development. He will coordinate business development and marketing activities of all MDU Resource companies in the Bakken area and report directly to Terry Hildestad, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “The Bakken area is undergoing unbelievably fast development. We can help counties and cities in the Bakken area meet their infrastructure needs,” Hildestad said in a written release. “I’m pleased that Bill has agreed to lead this effort. He is a proven senior executive who can help us maximize our market opportunities.” Schneider has been president and CEO of Knife River Corp. since 2005. John Harp has been named as the new CEO of Knife River Corp. He also will continue in the position of CEO of MDU Construction Services Group Inc. Dave Barney will serve as president of Knife River while Jeff Thiede will serve as president of MDU Construction Services Group.

Province News

Officials in Ontario’s Prince Edward County found no buried herbicides after a scientific and technical examination of the Hallowell Pickering Sand and Gravel Pit. According to countylive.ca, the examination was based on a tip that 20 pails of herbicides were buried there more than 25 years ago. “We are relieved that the thorough examination of the soil and the ground water shows no evidence of any pails or chemicals,” said Mayor Peter Mertens. “We will continue to monitor the ground water.”

Province News

A dynamite blast at Mid Island Aggregates in Shawnigan, British Columbia, left three miners injured. The Times Colonist reports a female miner tried to shield herself from the baseball-sized flyrock when one of the rocks hit her right arm, severing it at the elbow. Another man was struck in the head and suffered head injuries. A witness said that, if he had not been wearing his hard hat, he may have been killed. A third miner experienced more minor injuries. Work Safe BC investigators and inspectors from the Department of Mines were gathering evidence from the scene, but a Shawnigan Lake RCMP spokesman said that the incident didn’t appear to involve criminal negligence.


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