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Archive for Saturday, April 23, 2005

Request to build quarry pulled

April 23, 2005

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Officials with N.R. Hamm Quarry Inc. 10 days ago pulled their controversial request to put a quarry in near the town.

"This is great. It's fantastic," said Paul Bahnmaier, who owns 242 acres next to the proposed quarry site near Lecompton. "It's definitely a relief. But I can't stress enough how great all the people have been in the greater Lecompton area. This was teamwork and everyone worked together."

Hamm officials ultimately decided that opening the quarry wouldn't be a benefit.

"The biggest thing it came down to is this quarry would be exclusively used for the turnpike project," said Ramon Gonzalez, a rock sales manager. "This was purely a business decision."

Hamm wanted the quarry on a 175-acre property near the intersection of North 1825 and East 350 roads in northeast Douglas County. The site is on the north side of the turnpike.

Quarry officials said they wanted the proposed site to supply rock for the widening of Interstate 70 between Lecompton and Topeka. The Kansas Turnpike Authority designated Hamm as its rock supplier for the project. Putting a quarry in near Lecompton would have eliminated truck traffic, Gonzalez said.

Rock for the turnpike project now will come from Hamm's quarry in Overbrook. That's the quarry the company originally used for its bid on the project, Gonzalez said. The Interstate 70 project is on schedule at this time, a spokeswoman with the Kansas Turnpike Authority, said April 13.

Hamm has no plans to pursue a quarry at the proposed Lecompton site in the future, Gonzalez said.

Lawrence attorney Charles Benjamin, who represented property owners near the proposed site, commended Hamm for their decision.

"My clients obviously are delighted and I think Hamm made a smart decision business wise but politically as well," Benjamin said.

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