Mining company makes financial commitments to local schools

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A mining company looking to open a limestone quarry in Vincent has made financial commitments to both of Vincent’s schools.

White Rock Quarries President Jim Hurley pledged Tuesday to contribute $30,000 to Vincent Middle/High School and $15,000 to Vincent Elementary School. The contributions will be made in late July before students start back to school.

Company representative Stephen Bradley said the contributions are intended to help the schools immediately, whether or not the quarry is approved.

“Of course we hope we will have a successful series of zoning and permit decisions, but these contributions are being made regardless of how the project turns out,” he said. “It has been brought to our attention, the shortfall in the schools.”

Bradley referred to a letter sent to parents by VMHS Principal Gary Minnick, in which Minnick states the school will lose 83 percent of its funding for library books, technology, professional development, custodial supplies and instructional supplies.

“It’s quite a dire situation there, and we’ve met with the principals to learn more about what their needs are. We reported back to White Rock and White Rock has agreed to help,” Bradley said.

Minnick said the financial help from White Rock was “an unexpected surprise.”

“I want to see the community develop because it’s good for the families and the students in the school, and I think this is an excellent way for White Rock to show that they want to be good neighbors,” Minnick said.

He said the $30,000 would get the school back up to just under half the funding the school had last year.

“We’re still more than 50 percent down on our budget,” he said. “We’re going to use (that money) for soap, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and materials for the classroom.”

The company also announced a second public meeting to be held at VMHS July 16 at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will take a town hall format, with a panel of White Rock officials and experts in fields such as water quality, environmental concerns, dust control and air quality. A moderator will give the experts questions, and there will be time for citizens to ask their own questions.

“We’ve been moving around and talking to several people in the community over the last couple of weeks, and we believe we know what a majority of the issues and questions are,” Bradley said. “We will try to address as many of them straight on as we can.”

White Rock also plans to announce other commitments to schools and to the Vincent community during the July 16 meeting.

“This is the start of our good neighbor outreach,” Hurley said. “This will reemphasize our commitment to the community.”