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Quarry Debate Divides Residents

Neighbors spoke out against “madness,” misinformation, but some homeowners remain concerned about Hanson’s proposal to mine additional property.

Despite a recent village press release to begin blasting operations on an 80-acre parcel along Taylor Road, residents who live near the proposed expansion site continued to voice their opposition to the plan and to the quarry itself, located on Route 53 near Independence Boulevard.

Several residents spoke up once again during the public comment portion of Wednesday’s village board meeting.

This time, some of their neighbors and other community members also showed up to urge the group to be patient and to remove the signs erected in the neighborhood, including along Taylor Road.

Tomasz Suliga, a Nottingham Ridge resident who has been leading the charge against Hanson, applauded Mayor John Noak for denying the company’s request to mine the Taylor Road site, known as the Spangler property, but said he still has fears about the quarry’s future.

Suliga once again raised the issue of Hanson’s blasting standards, saying the company’s application included a request to increase peak particle velocity from the current half an inch per second maximum to 1 inch per second.

But according to Noak, that isn’t going to happen.

“We’re not looking at changing the blasting standards,” Noak said.

Lockport resident Tracy Panepinto questioned whether the quarry’s blasting is behind recent pipeline ruptures in and around Romeoville, like the 2010 Enbridge oil spill and the  in December of that same year.

“I feel the effects of the blasting at my house in Lockport,” she said. Other residents who spoke up voiced concerns about the blasting's effects on air and water quality.

But some who showed up at Wednesday night’s village board meeting came to voice their frustration at the anti-quarry campaign.

According to Nottingham Ridge resident Jimmy Barber, although the village has decided against Hanson's request to mine the Spangler property, you wouldn’t know it from the atmosphere in the neighborhood.

“The signs are still up,” he said. “It looks a little tacky.

“We really need to push forward and come together,” Barber added, noting that the neighborhood’s proximity to the quarry and the nearby were no secret to those who bought homes there.

“I did agree upon where I lived when I bought in 2003,” he said.

Leo Venegas, a board member and Romeoville resident, said he believes the group is misleading other village residents when it comes to the quarry’s proposal.

“I think there’s a lot of madness and scare tactics out there,” Venegas said. “There was no decision made, and still there was panic,” he said, adding that, ultimately, the village sided with residents who opposed the plan.

Anthony Bonanno, president of the Nottingham Ridge association, said the fight against the quarry expansion has divided the neighborhood.

“I guess I’d say you have a couple people I would classify as extremists,” he said, adding some have called for his resignation.

“Sensible people feel [the village’s decision] was a victory,” he said. “I feel it was a victory … The village listened to our concerns and they weighed the pros and cons.”

Bonanno acknowledged that just because the village said no to the Spangler proposal doesn’t mean Hanson won’t submit a new request.

“Hanson can turn around and submit a completely different proposal,” he said. “ … But the current proposal is dead, so that fight, as far as I’m concerned, is over.”

Despite the decision to deny the request to mine the Spangler property, the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission will still hold a previously scheduled public hearing on the plan, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at , 100 N. Independence Blvd.

village resident January 20, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I am glad the village denied Hanson's current proposal, but I just hope that our village keeps our neighborhoods in mind with any of Hanson's future (if any) proposals. I applaud anyone that stepped up and fight for our neighborhood (no matter how small or big). This article I must say upsets me that someone in our neighborhood is so negative at our fight. Especially when they don't believe enough in our community to send their own children to our public schools. Also as for what the board member said about people handing out misleading information. Maybe the village should give out all the facts to the residents as soon as they happen and not wait 6 months and for the holidays to come around. Even then they were vague in the beginning. This seemed to be a underhanded move on the villages part. I thank the Mayor for now but do I trust him? The answer is not really. Same for the planning and zoning committee. It will be interesting to see our next local election.
The Other Christine January 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
At the original meeting for Nottingham Ridge residents in early December, the mayor said the 1995 agreement was good for the quarry and bad for the residents. He went on to say that the new deal they were working on would fix some of the things they agreed to in 1995 that were not right. Unfortunately, this is all we were told. We weren't given any specifics. If the deal was bad in 1995 and the village still approved it, why should we trust them to do the right thing now? And furthermore, why should we believe a company like Hanson will do the right thing? Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice, shame on me. And I'm no fool. I'm really tired of hearing Hanson say they want to be good neighbors, but then talk down to us and ignore us. That's not what good neighbors do. If they're going to talk the talk, they should walk the walk.
CarlQ January 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Finally, reasonable people step up and disagree with you and the first thing you do is attack them. This is one of the many reasons your group has lost all credibility. Why don’t you admit you have aligned yourself with an extremist environmental group out of Lockport and non-residents that have chosen to not pay their fair share into this community? It has been clear from your groups multiple rants at board meetings that you have no interest in actually talking about the issues in the appropriate format. The Village has offered to meet with residents about their concerns on multiple occasions (it has been in the papers and their statements many times) yet you have clearly never taken them up on it. You also seem to have no idea how the development review process actually works. And it is only when someone doesn’t have a real argument that they degrade into threats about elections.
CarlQ January 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM
So your solution is to assume that everyone is against you? For one thing it’s not even the same people as it was 17yrs ago. Second thing is it’s not even the same company as it was 17yrs ago. Leigh Hanson Co. bought Material Service in between.
village resident January 21, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Carl if you don't mind me asking where specifically do you live? Do you live in Nottingham Ridge or College view? We just want to be heard. We cant get rid of the quarry we know that but we don't want them expanding their mining another 78 acres.
The Other Christine January 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I don't assume everyone is against me. You assume that- because you are a troll. All I see here is you responding to comments with negative attacks. What I DID say is that we weren't given any specifics. How are we supposed to know what is in the deal unless they tell us? The mayor himself admitted that the deal in 1995 was good for the quarry and bad for the city and the residents. So, I want to know what is going to be different with this deal. I am asking for additional information. And I know these are different people and a different company- again, I was at the meetings. So thanks again for YOUR assumption that I don't know these things. Hanson came in and told us all about their big trucks and their million dollar land purchases- like that matters to us. We want to know HOW they are going to protect our water supply and our air quality. We were never given an answer to this.
no quarry January 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM
This video shows Leo Venegas board member of Valley View School District, speaking against his community and kids living in Romeoville. Please, if you going to quote Lincoln, make sure you actually know what you talking about. This man is in charge of educating our kids...we in trouble. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2jIVCnFKOU
Barbara C February 03, 2013 at 08:11 AM
I hope it all works out for your village. I work in Lemont and have always wondered what the heck all of that noise was!!! Just turn your ear to those negative comments/people. They don't realize the impact on the air/ water ... And of course health issues. I am reading this page because I am involved in the Idle No More movement related to Prime Minister Steven Harpers attempts to attack the treaties , land, water rights !!! I thought about what I've been hearing around my work and my husband told me about the quarry!
Barbara C February 03, 2013 at 08:32 AM
We just held an event in Chicago in the city related to the Idle No More movement... And today another event at the Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg Illinois. What is going on right now in Canada will very well affect us here. It has to do with land , water rights, protecting our natural god given resources. Check out www.idlenomore.com and you will find others to connect with where your voices can be heard. I am Native American and this is not just a "Native Thing" we all need to be the voices for the future of this earth! Come and visit the Trickster Gallery located @ 190 S Roselle Road 847) 301-2090. We had a speaker today from the mining issues going on in Wisconsin. This will affect the Great Lakes !!!

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