Calera closer to quarry deal: Zoning now goes before city planning commission March 6

The Calera City Council came closer Monday night to finalizing plans that will allow a company to build a limestone quarry in exchange for a multi-million dollar sports complex.

The council voted to annex 376 acres at the Chemical Lime plant off Alabama 25. City leaders had already annexed some 300 acres behind Oliver Park, where the company wants to dig for limestone.

Chem Lime has pledged to donate $7 million towards a sports complex if the city agrees to annex and zone the proposed quarry for industrial use.

While some residents fear the quarry will hurt property values, Calera High Principal Ken Mobley said without the company&8217;s help the new park would be at least 10 years away. &8220;It would be such a great asset to our school,&8221; said Mobley. &8220;I&8217;m so proud for the children.&8221;

The new 55-acre park would be built adjacent to the future Calera High and would open next fall. It will include baseball, softball and soccer fields as well as tennis courts and a walking path.

It&8217;s makes sense. This is a win-win for both Calera and Chemical Lime,&8221; said Steve Bradley, company spokesman.

The Calera Planning Commission is set to vote on the zoning changes at its next meeting March 6.