Douglas County Commission to again consider company’s request to expand quarry operation
photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo
The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday will continue its consideration of a company’s request to expand its quarry operation just outside of Eudora.
The commissioners will consider amending a conditional use permit for Hamm Quarry, 2364 North 1200 Road, which wants to expand its extraction operation into 51 acres west of its property. The amended permit would also allow the rock quarry to expand the amount of land that can be mined at one time from 30 acres to 50 acres.
The 51 acres the quarry proposes expanding into are at 1258 East 2300 Road, which is about a mile east of the southern edge of Eudora, including Eudora’s middle and high schools.
The commissioners originally considered the request during their meeting last week, but chose to defer the item. Commissioner Nancy Thellman said she wanted to defer because she was concerned about whether residents in the area were properly notified about the project, calling it “a big deal.”
Patrick Watkins, an attorney for Hamm Companies, said at the time the company was willing to wait another week, but with any further delay the company would be “really pressed” on what to do next. The commissioners also heard from people who oppose the project, including Catherine Ellsworth, who said it would be detrimental to the area, which includes residential subdivisions.
The quarry currently has two parcels of land totaling close to 200 acres. If approved, the new permit would allow the quarry to expand its mining operation directly west into a third, 51-acre parcel. In May, the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission voted 8-2 to recommend forwarding the permit to the County Commission for approval.
The company also requested for the permit to allow the quarry to expand its hours of operation for production and extraction from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. However, the Planning Commission recommended that request be denied. Instead, the Planning Commission recommended approval for the hours to be changed to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, while keeping 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
In other business, the commissioners will consider approving a resolution that allows the county to accept nearly $25 million in federal coronavirus relief funding.
According to a memo to commissioners, the purpose of the resolution is to show the county intends to use funds in the ways outlined in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as CARES. To receive the funding, the commissioners must approve the resolution by July 13 and send it to the state by July 15.
The memo also notes the federal funding would be slightly more than County Administrator Sarah Plinsky estimated last month. She had estimated between $21 million and $24 million coming to Douglas County, but the memo notes the county will receive $24.997 million.
The County Commission will meet Wednesday through an online video conference at 5:30 p.m. The meetings will be open to the walk-in public at the county courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., but a link for the public to watch live online is available on the county’s website, douglascountyks.org. Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 966-9153-6987.
Full audio from the meeting will continue to be posted on the county’s website, as usual. The meeting’s full agenda may also be found on the county’s website.
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