Quarry project deserves a good listen

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jim Hurley, president of White Rock Quarries, said his goal at a meeting with Vincent residents last week was to listen.

Hurley’s company has purchased about 1,000 acres in Vincent and proposes to develop Vincent Hills, a limestone quarry in that town.

The project faces some opposition, primarily from property owners located near it.

Hurley and some others in his company met with several in our newsroom last week to talk about their plans for a Vincent quarry. They only wanted us to hear what they propose.

Vincent citizens, who attended the public meeting held last week, have had an opportunity to speak their minds to White Rock officials. Now, those citizens may want to do some listening of their own.

A number of innovations planned for the Vincent Hills quarry, Hurley said, make it a more desirable operation for the community.

Hurley and his company were interested in the property in Vincent because it is located between two railroad lines, which he said the company will use to transport limestone.

Because it will be a “rail quarry,” he said truck traffic in the locale of the proposed quarry isn’t expected to be significant.

Rail cars will be loaded inside a building, rather than out in the open, and will use technology known as a “wet suppression” system — all of which should cut down on noise, dust and debris.

Hurley said the facility will not be visible from the roadway because of a 40-foot-tall earthen wall which will surround it.

Most importantly, the quarry will employ about 125 people when it is in full production and will provide tax revenue that will more than double the town’s annual budget.

Hurley’s plan for a “good neighbor” limestone quarry may not be enough to win over those against it. But, Hurley and others at White Rock Quarries deserve an opportunity to present their case.

In an economic environment like ours today, few communities can afford to simply dismiss that kind of investment.