Money brings favor, controversy

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last week, leadership of White Rock Quarries, the mining company which hopes to open a limestone quarry on the 1,000 acres it already owns in Vincent, pledged to donate $45,000 to schools in the community before school starts back.

White Rock’s pledge comes as a response to a letter sent to parents by VMHS Principal Gary Minnick, which described the difficult financial hardships the school faces in the coming school year. Surely many, if not all, other businesses and landowners in Vincent knew about the schools’ circumstances. But how many could have made such a substantial donation? Of those that were, how many chose to do so?

Much controversy and conversation has swirled since we first reported that White Rock hoped to open a quarry in Vincent. What will it do to property values? Will it damage the environment or citizens’ health? What did city leaders know about plans for the expansive site? What sort of corporate citizen would White Rock be? While each of these questions remain on the minds of Vincent community members, the latter is starting to come clear.

There is no doubt White Rock’s generous donation to Vincent schools, at least in part, is intended to court favor in the local community. However, the same could be said of most every individual or corporate donation made in Shelby County or elsewhere.

Members of the Vincent community must decide for themselves, through their elected officials, if plans for the quarry will move forward or die.

The White Rock donation has provided some relief, but there is still a large funding shortfall in the Vincent schools, so there is a substantial need for others to step up and help. To do so, please contact Vincent Elementary School at 682-7320 or Vincent Middle/High School at 682-7300.