State & Province News – December 2014

Therese Dunphy

December 1, 2014

Arizona
Some of Glendale’s youngest residents got an up close and personal look at a variety of trucks during a recent Touch-a-Truck event. Your West Valley News reports that the event represents a collaborative effort between Empire Cat and Glendale Parks. The dealer, city, Arizona Trucking Association, Bedrock Sand and Gravel, Cemex, and American Institute of Trucking brought in a wide variety of work, emergency service, and mass transit trucks for the events. Live demonstrations were also held.

California
In late September, Naval Seabees set off the first quarry blast in five years at the Mid-Island Quarry. According to DVIDShub.net, the quarry was closed in 2009 due to demand for Seabees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The operation was reopened in late 2013 and is the only quarry the Naval Construction Force has re-opened. The blast included 20 boreholes and yielded aggregate that will be crushed on site and used to repair roads on ranges throughout the island.

California
Robertson’s Ready Mix filed a lawsuit against the city of Banning for allegedly using taxpayer money to support for a proposal that would add an 80-cent tax to every ton of sand and gravel leaving its property. The Record Gazette reports the suit accuses the city of “improper expenditure of public funds on campaigning” on the tax just a month before the general election. An item was added to the city council’s Oct. 14 agenda that provided $50,000 for what city attorney Dave Aleshire describes as ‘educational materials.’ Robertson’s request to the court seeks to have the city rescind its $50,000 allocation related to the tax measure and cease “all activities by any public official, employee, or third party associated with the city related to (the tax measure) that might be funded” by the allocation.

Colorado
Summit Materials announced its acquisition of Southwest Ready-Mix, a ready-mix company in Houston; Colorado County Sand & Gravel, an aggregates company in Colorado County, Texas; and Concrete Supply of Topeka/Builders Choice Concrete, an aggregates and ready-mix concrete company in Topeka. “We are very pleased to welcome these three companies and their employees to Summit Materials,” said Tom Hill, CEO of Summit Materials, in a company press release. “They are a great cultural, geographic, and business match for us and a furtherance of our strategy of growth through acquisitions.”

Illinois
Second graders from Seneca Grade School visited Vulcan Materials Co.’s Lisbon Quarry, where they learned about prospecting, mining, and reclamation. According to The Times, Don Theobald, plant manager; Don Habersberger, project manager; Dan Barnstable, area manager of tech services; and Tommy Garbacz, specialist/environmentalist; organized the tour. Ten different hands-on educational stations and a bus tour into the quarry were highlights of the event. Students spent a week “investigating the lifecycle of a mine, careers in mining, and discovering the importance of aggregate producers.” They made their own toothpaste, mined cookies, drilled cupcakes, and made a metamorphic sandwich.

Kansas
The Douglas County Commission approved new restrictions for Hamm-Buchheim Quarry. Lawrence Journal World reports the new regulations stipulate operating hours, place limitations on times for blasting, require the installation of fences, and the creation of a new vehicle access point to the quarry, among other requirements. The quarry was first permitted approximately 37 years ago, but remained dormant for a period before re-opening in 2012. Commissioner Jim Flory commended N.R. Hamm Inc., the quarry operator, for working with the community. “(N.R. Hamm) didn’t have to do any of these things and legally could have put up a heck of a case in court if we tried to impose it,” he told the newspaper. “But they didn’t. They said, ‘We’ll do it.’”

Minnesota
At Aggregates Manager’s press time, the Cascade Town Board was expected to hold a public hearing regarding Milestone Minerals zoning request. According to the Post-Bulletin, the company has 140 acres of land and wants to expand its operation to the north of its current quarry. That request requires rezoning of property. The planning commission recommended the approval in a 3-2 vote, but a group of neighbors have asked local officials to slow the process down. A number of residents of a trailer park located across the street from the operation say they are concerned about the height, length, and cover of the berm and want it to be increased to mitigate truck noise.

New York
Amboy Aggregates sold its New York Sand & Stone LLC unit to Eastern Concrete Materials Inc. for an undisclosed sum, the Chicago Business Journal reports. The sale includes the assignment of leases to operate two existing aggregate distribution terminals on the East River in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn-based business is a major supplier of stone, sand, and gravel to the construction industry in the New York metropolitan area.

Pennsylvania
For the first time in a prolonged legal battle, New Hanover Township lost to Gibraltar Rock and Sahara Sands Inc., according to The Mercury. Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Branca agreed with the company’s argument that its permit under the Pennsylvania Non-Coal Surface Mining Act pre-empts township requirements. An attorney for Gibraltar Rock told the newspaper that the decision will allow its application process to move forward.

Texas
San Marcos City Council approved a groundwater lease that will transfer the rights to 885 acre-feet of the Edwards Aquifer water from the city to Martin Marietta. Community Impact newspaper reports the 10-week lease is worth $347,805. Earlier in the year, the city leased 1,000 acre-feet to Martin Marietta for $324,000.

Washington
A U.S. District Court ruling that dismisses its lawsuit against the state Department of Natural Resources may actually be a step in the right direction, says a spokesperson for Thorndyke Resources Operation Complex, a subsidiary of Hood Canal Sand and Gravel. The operator is trying to build a 4-mile-long conveyor belt and 998-foot pier on Hood Canal to ship aggregates, according to Peninsula Daily News. It challenged the legality of an easement agreement between the DNR and the U.S. Navy that forbids development on aquatic lands in Hood Canal. The spokesman said the decision will allow it to address both groups in state court, as it initially desired, noting that it will request the state hearing be handled by a visiting judge due to the politics surrounding its request.

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