Let’s keep quarry discussion polite

Editor:

A law firm in Bend is requesting a quarry permit with special circumstances for the Weber Quarry and its operators, Liberty Rock Products in Sweet Home.

They are:

(1) Requesting blast loads be tripled from .3 inches per second allowable ground movement to 1.0 ips. Roughly 30 million tons of aggregate rock has been harvested successfully at the current loads. This is in spite of it being a “hazardous geological area” (Linn County’s own words on area maps).

(2) The application asks for 37.1 acres but I believe that figure is misleading in that they only want to mine 4 1/2 acres – roughly $56 million of rock at current prices.

Note that the special designation goal five only means that it is inventoried as high-quality rock by the county. Since only 4 1/2 acres is mined, shouldn’t that figure be revised? Our main contention is that the quarry operated under a conditional use permit and has used all the rock they asked for, and that they agreed to shut down the operation when this occurred.

(3) Lastly, carefully concealed in the application, on page 14, is a request to operate an asphalt batch plant on the property. Yes, it is permitted already, but never used and there is the fact that his pit has been basically fallow and unused from 1942 to 1993, when Liberty Rock Products contracted to open the quarry.

The operators took nearly two years to form this application and release it to us during Christmas season for reply and rebuttal by Jan. 11 before the Linn County Planning Commission for their recommendation.

Having not been born and raised in Sweet Home, and not being considered an insider, I have never in my life written a letter to the editor. I ask for polite discourse on this permit from all sides.

We welcome your attendance at the Linn County Board of Commissioners meeting, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, where it will be decided in Room 200 of the county courthouse.

David Poto

Sweet Home

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