Danedri Thompson
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For a second time, Johnson County commissioners delayed a decision to grant or deny a conditional-use permit for a proposed asphalt plant near Edgerton. During a Sept 25 meeting, commissioners agreed to postpone a decision until Edgerton community members and representatives from Bettis Asphalt & Construction sit down and discuss the proposal.
If approved, the permit would allow Bettis to build a portable asphalt and concrete plant within a rock quarry steps from Edgerton’s city limits.
The Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board twice recommended to commissioners to approve a conditional-use permit for construction of the portable plant. The board’s recommendation included concessions that would limit the permit to 5-years rather than the 10 years requested and limit the operational hours of the plant.
Commissioners first postponed a final resolution in August, telling Bettis representatives to schedule a community meeting. At the meeting, commissioners asked Bettis representatives to discuss a variety of residents’ plant-related concerns including odor, air quality, noise and traffic. That meeting had not yet occurred by the Sept. 25 commission meeting.
Between the late August commission meeting and Sept. 25 meeting, the Edgerton City Council withdrew its formal support for the project. It was reluctant support, offered only after Bettis officials agreed to pay Edgerton an impact fee of 5 cents per ton of asphalt sold, to move an entrance to the rock quarry and plant, and to upgrade an internal quarry road. The provisions would help Edgerton fund road maintenance and cut down dust and debris.
Jim Hubbard, an attorney for Bettis, told commissioners on Sept. 25 that in addition to a meeting with plant neighbors, Bettis officials would also like to host an open house.
“I think the open house was scheduled to be at the quarry so the folks could actually get on the quarry and be familiar with the operation,” Hubbard said.
The neighbor meeting would likely occur on Oct. 15 or 16, but the open house would likely be later in October.
“The 30th would work better for us,” Hubbard said. “Give us time to get that scheduled.”
Commission Chair Ed Eilert suggested that the open house and meetings be held closer together so the commission could make a final judgement on the conditional-use permit on Oct. 23. Commissioners unanimously agreed and continued the discussion to the Oct. 23 commission meeting.
A community meeting to discuss the asphalt plant is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15, however The Gardner News was unable to get formal confirmation of that meeting date and location.
County commissioners will next consider the issue during its Oct. 23 meeting. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building.