February 6, 2016

Board recommends approval of asphalt plant

Darren Shafer and Katy Hoffman, members of the Southwest Johnson County  Consolidated Zoning Board, talk to county planner Paul Greeley during a meeting on May 28. Photo courtesy of Debbie Hickman

Darren Shafer and Katy Hoffman, members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board, talk to county planner Paul Greeley during a meeting on May 28. Photo courtesy of Debbie Hickman

Danedri Thompson
Members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board are recommending that the county board of commissioners approve a conditional-use permit for an asphalt and concrete plant near Edgerton.
The portable plants would be leased by Bettis Asphalt & Construction and located on 16 acres in the 160-acre Mid-States Ventures’ rock quarry at 20125 Sunflower Road.
Initially, Bettis Asphalt requested a 10-year, conditional-use permit. However, county planners recommended the company only be granted a five-year permit.
“We have some concern about long-term usage,” county planner Paul Greeley said. “Shorter term would be beneficial to assess.”
The quarry is just beyond the city limits of Edgerton, and Edgerton city officials expressed their concerns about the proposal to members of the county zoning board.
“The quarry has been in operations since I was a young man,” Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts told the zoning board. “For the most part, people support it.”
However, he said the city council and staff are concerned about ongoing maintenance needs of Sunflower Road, which both Edgerton and Johnson County kick-in funds to maintain.
The plant will likely draw more truck traffic down Sunflower Road, but an attorney for Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Jim Hubbard, said it will not be a “significant increase.”
He explained that at peak traffic, officials anticipate there will be roughly 55 additional trucks per hour on the road. The way the traffic is counted, however, that will likely be half as many trucks. Each truck is counted twice – once as it’s entering the plant and once as it’s leaving.
Kenny Pritchard, Edgerton, was vocal about his distaste for the proposed asphalt plant. He told the board that a Missouri town recently shut down an asphalt plant because of its proximity to a park. The Edgerton plant will be within a half mile of the elementary school, he said.
“Everyone knows what asphalt smells like, and we’re going to be living near that,” Pritchard said.
Greeley said the plant operators will need air quality permits from the county and state. “Asphalt, when mixed with rock, there can be an odor,” Greeley said. “That’s probably benzene.”
Benzene is a fairly common substance that can be found in gasoline.
“The state and county would only regulate something that might emit 10-tons of benzene per month,” Greeley said. “(Asphalt plants) aren’t anywhere near that.”
Pritchard was also upset that Edgerton citizens had limited notice of the June 28 zoning board meeting and the plant approval agenda item.
“It just seems like it was a well-kept secret in the county to take advantage of Edgerton,” Pritchard said.
Greeley explained that the county followed its standard notification process – publication of the meeting in the Olathe News and notifying neighbors who live within 1,000-feet of the project. The closest neighbor lives approximately 1,200-feet from the project.
Edgerton City Administrator Beth Linn said she wished more consideration had been made about the dust and grime that will shake loose from trucks leaving the plant. The plant will be accessed via an on-site haul road running between the plant and Sunflower Road.
Linn worried that the road would not be long enough to shake material from trucks before they reach Sunflower Road. She also suggested moving the entrance to the plant further east.
The Johnson County Board of Commissioners must still give final approval for the conditional-use permit. Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the topic during a July 3 county commission meeting. The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays in the county administration building in Olathe.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    The politicians have already sold the people down the river just like they did on the intermodal. This area is going to be and is well on its way to being an industrial wasteland and citizens are going to suffer the adverse affects such as health issues, safety hazards, pollution that will never end and costs that are so huge you will have to get another job to pay for them. And remember the propaganda blitz that Drovetta, Lehman and Mertz that citizens so quickly bought into in 2006…….”If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Tax ‘Em” and then the lowlifes were ready to give away 85% of the tax revenue that citizens need so much to pay for all of the costs. And the dear ole politicians and bureaucrats in Edgerton, Mayor Roberts and the Edgerton Council, agreed to take away 75% of the tax revenue citizens should have. You will always get pissed on when you allow corporate welfare of this type and NO protection from things such as pollution, medical issues and safety hazards and that is what the politicians and bureaucrats are bringing to your doorstep every day of the week.

    But the citizens, when all is said and done, are responsible for all of this financial rape and adverse affects because they aren’t doing their jobs and they keep supporting and enabling these thieves and their paid politicians and bureaucrats People or entities can only take advantage of you IF YOU ALLOW IT. Keep electing losers like Brownback, who just recently once again approved that coal powered electric plant in western Kansas right before federal regulation was placed into effect, and you will suffer because of it. Brownback gave all those LLC entities and some others a free pass as to paying any state income taxes and most of those entities are also avoiding paying practically any property taxes by getting their fraudulent “farm” appraisal classifications. The state of Kansas is quickly, and I mean quickly, running out of money so I hope every ignorant, apathetic citizen knows who will have to come up with the bucks when the costs filter down to the county and city levels – sure as hell won’t be the big boys or the cronies of politicians like Brownback – IT WILL BE YOU, THE AVERAGE CITIZEN and that is because you are not doing your jobs and are not involved in your city, county and state governments. Ole Sutton (who didn’t even vote on the education issue and who so quickly thinks it is ok to use religion to discriminate), Brownback’s soldier, sure is not protecting your interests but until citizens figure out what the Sam Hill is going on, they will get slime like that asphalt plant, the intermodal and similiar crud in the future and the astronomical costs for that crud that you will be living with. Nothing like paying huge costs for crap that is killing you and the thieves are getting richer every day because of the cronyism government.

    People better be finding some decent people to run for office who actually work for the citizens instead of the thieves and then supporting those people. And if those candidates don’t work out, you learn from your mistakes and find some people who still have some moral values like HONESTY, INTEGRITY, ETHICS, CHARACTER and I mean to tell you, you will sure have to hunt to find those kind of people and then you will have to face the problem of fighting those who will want to recall or censure those candidates or office holders who actually work for the citizens. The job of a decent citizen is a hard one but the alternative is going to eat your lunch every day of the week and and you will face many, many adverse affects that are even worse than the high costs.

    Every citizen better be thinking long and hard about the choices they make and about what they are going to enable and support – that is my opinion.

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