Quarry Quarrel Continues
The residents won a small victory last night at the village Board of Trustees meeting. The village denied an annexation request from the property owner next to the quarry. Annexation would have allowed for the expansion of the controversial quarry. The owners of the 35 acre plot adjacent to the current quarry wanted their property to be annexed into the village of Sunrise Beach.
Currently the property sits in Camden County, which has planning and zoning. The current county zoning would not allow for the expansion of the quarry, however, if Sunrise Beach were to annex the property, the property would be eligible for expansion because the village doesn't have zoning ordinances.
This prompted residents to form a committee to ask the Board of Trustees not to annex the land.
"We know the quarry cannot expand right now, we know that. And that was our objective. We never asked the quarry to leave, we just asked them to be good neighbors, to be responsible with their blasting, to be safe," said Barbara Robinson, Quarry Accountability Chairperson.
The Quarry Accountability Committee spent nearly $4,000 on advertising and sent letters to the state Department of Natural Resources and Representative Wayne Cooper asking them to help write new blasting laws for the state. Congress passed House Bill 298, the Blasting Safety Act, which is awaiting the Governor's signature.
Residents hope the new legislation will regulate the power of the explosions and the hours the company can blast. So far, residents are pleased with the new quarry operator, Magruder Limestone. It's been operating the quarry since May 1. Company personnel spoken with say they had not thought about expanding the quarry into the proposed annexed property. They did rule out expanding in the event of annexation.
The blasting quarry and the operators started blasting 11 days ago. Robinson says so far they are being good neighbors.