October 31, 2014

Edgerton council offers support for asphalt plant

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
The Edgerton City Council will formally recommend that the Johnson County Board of Commissioners approve a proposed asphalt and concrete plant just beyond the city limits.
Council member Cindy Crooks, Mayor Don Roberts, and city administrator Beth Linn expressed vehement opposition to the project during a Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board meeting in late July. The zoning board agreed to recommend that county commissioners approve a five-year conditional use permit for a proposed portable asphalt and concrete plants to be located on 16-acres within the Mid-State Venture rock quarry.
Linn told the council during an Aug. 14 council meeting, that Bettis Asphalt has offered to make some of the concessions that city officials requested in return for the city council presenting a formal resolution or a letter of support for the project to the county commission. County officials are scheduled to consider approving the asphalt plant permit at on Aug. 28.
“(Bettis Asphalt) heard our concerns and worked in some fashion to address some of those,” Linn told council members.
Asphalt officials said they would agree to move the entrance to the rock quarry, provide rumble strips along the road and pave an internal access road in order to be good neighbors to the city of Edgerton with council’s formal support for the plant.
Linn said her understanding from the discussions is that the concessions require formal council support including an appearance by Linn or Roberts at the commission meeting publicly endorsing the project.
Without that, “my assumption is that these concessions are off the table,” Linn said.
City attorney Patrick Reavey said such support could be carefully worded. He said individual citizens who oppose the project will have the option of speaking before the commission.
“I want it plainly stated that we agree to these terms, but not necessarily the project,” council member Frances Cross said.
Council members noted that they do not have any say over whether the asphalt plant is allowed. The proposed plant itself would be located at 20125 Sunflower Road, just outside Edgerton city limits.
Council member Jody Brown said it feels like Bettis Asphalt is forcing the council’s hand in its request for public support.
Council member Cindy Crooks said she wouldn’t stand up and say she supported the project.
“But it’s here. It’s coming. Let’s make the best of the situation,” she said.
Members of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners will consider the conditional-use permit during the Aug. 28 board meeting. That meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. at the county administration building in Olathe.

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