December 17, 2014

Edgerton residents upset about proposed plant

A hand-made sign, likely created by an Edgerton resident, notifies residents of the meeting about the asphalt plant. Photo courtesy of Jerry Kellogg

A hand-made sign, likely created by an Edgerton resident, notifies residents of the meeting about the asphalt plant. Photo courtesy of Jerry Kellogg

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Kim Smith, Edgerton, didn’t know an asphalt plant might be constructed near Edgerton until after members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board recommended approving the project.
“I didn’t find out about it until after they had the meeting,” Smith said. “I had no idea what was going on.”
As is legally required, Johnson County posted notice of the meeting in its newspaper of record, The Olathe News.
“It’s just really sneaky and underhanded the way they did it. The Olathe newspaper? We live in Edgerton,” Smith said. “If they had done it in The Gardner News during the graduation issue, we may have known.”
The county also posted signage around the rock quarry about the possibility of an asphalt plant and the zoning board meeting. Smith said the signs were small. Smith saw the signs while driving past, but said she wasn’t going to stop and get out of her car to read them.
“It looked like a building permit,” she said. “That’s what I assumed it was. Nobody knew.”
The zoning board recommended that members of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners approve a five-year conditional use permit to operate an asphalt and concrete plant at 20125 Sunflower Road in Edgerton. The property is just beyond Edgerton city limits, very near to the home of Smith’s parents.
Smith said at the very least, she would like the county to require an environmental impact of the asphalt plant.
Smith said her father has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema.
“I can only imagine what this plant is going to do to him,” Smith said.
Smith challenges people to drive through Edgerton at about 3:30 p.m. each day. Typically, she said the rock quarry is blasting at that time.
“It looks like Edgerton is covered in a dome of dust,” Smith said. “It can’t be good for anyone. I don’t know what kind of effect tar and asphalt dust can have on a person, but it can’t be good for you.”
Shelly George, Edgerton, also dislikes the quarry, which has been in operation off-and-on for dozens of years under different management.
“When they blast, it rattles windows. It feels like a pick-up truck coming through my house,” she said. “It’s not a joke. It really is that substantial.”
Though little can be done to stop the quarry, George said she’s will fight to stop the asphalt plant, which she says, may decrease the value of area homes by up to 50 percent in addition to creating air pollution.
“I really hope that the county will see that the citizens of Edgerton aren’t going to be the county’s doormat,” George said. “We’re not going to just lay down and let them do what they want without fair consideration.”
George said she is trying to gather enough signatures for a formal protest petition. She only has 14 days from the original date of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board meeting in order to get her petition together and turned in. She estimates she’ll need 360 signatures by June 10. She hopes to gather more than 600 signatures by going door-to-door.
“It’s a pretty small town, so hopefully it won’t take that long,” George said.
At a minimum, George said she would like to see the location of the asphalt plant, which will be on the quarry property, moved from the west side of the 160-acre quarry property. Currently, the asphalt plant is set to be constructed near Sunflower Road, but George said there are fewer residents on the east side, which borders Mildale Farm.
While Smith said she’s likely to sign a protest petition, she isn’t confident that it will do any good.
Smith said the citizens of Edgerton have petitioned the county before to no avail.
“You can’t fight the county… I can sit here and run my mouth, but they’re just going to look at me as what I am, which is a middle-aged mother with a big mouth. It’s just not fair,” she said. “It’s not fair to us. We should have the right to know what’s going on in our community.”
The county commission will consider granting a five-year, conditional use permit for a concrete and asphalt plant at the Edgerton quarry on July 3. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. in the county administration building in Olathe.

Comments

  1. Keith Buntemeyer says:

    This isn’t the only sneaky back room decision made in Edgerton and am disappointed in our city government and its misuse of power……….

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    This article tells you how another community does not care to have an asphalt plant. What will the politicians be sticking with you next? Landfill and/or a refinery would put the cherry on top of the cake.

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    Mother, sons rally against proposed asphalt plants in Garden Ridge

    by Rogelio Mares / KENS 5

    Posted on May 12, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Updated Monday, May 12 at 9:32 AM

    SAN ANTONIO — A battle is brewing over the construction of two asphalt plants in the quiet community of Garden Ridge.

    “I want to inform the citizens of Garden Ridge about the upcoming meeting on Tuesday,” said Tracey Blackwell, a local resident.

    The meeting could pave the way for a zoning change that would allow the construction of the two asphalt plants.

    “I’m concerned about the traffic. I’m concerned about the noise. But I’m most concerned about the toxins and the pollution,” explained Blackwell.

    Blackwell claims very few people were informed about the possibility of the plants being built in the small town just north of San Antonio.

    “I would say that this has been almost stealth-like from our council,” Blackwell added.

    Among those who didn’t know, former mayor Jay Millikin. Since finding out, he’s lent his support to the opposition.

    “I didn’t find out about it until this week,” Millikin said.

    Others in town are lending their hands to the cause, including Blackwell’s sons.

    “This is a great Mother’s Day gift to me,” said Blackwell. “They asked if they could get me cards. They asked if they could do other things. I said, ‘Hey, just come out here and join the fun.'”

    The first part of Blackwell’s plan is to gain more support against the construction.

    Blackwell said she and several others will be at Garden Ridge City Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m. — that’s when city council will hear arguments on whether or not to rezone the property to make way for the proposed asphalt plants.

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    Here are the concerns of citizens right here in your area – Grandview, Mo. where they also have a lovely intermodal. I hope all citizens thoroughly recognize what the politicians did to them back in 2004 and 2005 when they put the red carpet out for the likes of BNSF. Illness, loss of property values and astronomical costs are just a few things you will be living with in the years ahead as the politicians and bureaucrats make it very clear as to who they work for and who they protect, enable and support. Citizens will be getting an asphalt plant and much much more to live with in the coming years. As I have said before, if you can afford to, then MOVE and do it now and the slimy politicians couldn’t care less as to what they are doing to the poor people who don’t have the resources available to them to move out of the soon to be industrial wasteland they have brought about. You would have to be an idiot to vote for Eilert (Drovetta, Lehman, Steve Hale and some others are having a reception to support Eilert in the next few weeks right here in Gardner) who said several years ago that SW Johnson County would be the next College Blvd. – in other words a real money maker but I would say College Blvd. and SW Johnson County will be two totally different lifestyles and environments but I certainly know who will be lining their pockets and who enables them to do so. .

    Grandview group claims asphalt plant creates health problems
    Posted 1:32 pm, October 14, 2013, by Rob Low

    GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Citing serious concerns about air quality in the area around the Ideker asphalt plant, the group calling itself Concerned Citizens for Air Impact Reduction (CCAIR) filed a lawsuit last week to force compliance with federal and Missouri state air quality regulations.

    The lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order to halt issuance of the new permit and to let a Jackson County court judge decide if the process followed to review the plant’s permit application complied with EPA rules and regulations.

    According to the CCAIR, air quality experts discovered the asphalt plant, located at 5600 E. 150 Highway in Kansas City, emits pollutants including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particulate matter at levels that exceeded safety limits. All of these pollutants are associated with serious respiratory ailments and other health issues, especially for children and the elderly, CCAIR said in a press release.

    “As a property owner, and coming from five generations that lived, worked and played in Grandview, I am appalled that this plant was allowed to receive a permit to operate, in light of the fact that the plant produces pollutants above EPA standards,” Kathy Wilson Sutoris, the president of CCAIR, said in a statement.

    “As a retired elementary school teacher for the Grandview C-4 school district, who taught in the community for 32 years, I have a vested interest in the health of all the children in this area, and putting children at risk is unacceptable,” she said.

    In addition, the group claims the plant could affect property values, negatively impacting the city of Grandview’s economic future.

    The plant’s original permit was issued in June of 2012 by the City of Kansas City acting as an agent for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR). Since then, air quality experts have found there were inaccuracies in calculations that predict plant emissions, as well as the ambient impact limits, according to CCAIR.

    Before the permit was issued and site approved by Kansas City and MoDNR, the Grandview School District, Grandview Chamber of Commerce, City of Grandview, and others expressed serious concerns about potential air pollution to air quality officials. Despite the concerns, the permit was issued anyway.

    Last year, the City of Grandview, on behalf of the many concerned parties, retained environmental experts to review the documents related to the permit. These experts concluded the asphalt plant is operating at air-quality levels that exceed safety limits established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Ideker filed an application earlier this year for a permit to operate their plant permanently at the site.

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