Face off on Vincent’s Highway 25

Published 2:33 pm Sunday, November 8, 2009

On one side of State Highway 25 in Vincent, next to Smith’s Associated Foods, stands a building with signs, lettered in red and blue, proudly proclaiming, “Vincent is not for sale,” and “No quarry.”

Directly across the highway stands the Vincent Hills Quarry Information Center, with its own signs declaring, “Yes… for jobs” and “Yes… for schools.”

The two buildings face off day after day, much like the townspeople on opposite sides of the quarry issue.

Jo Mudd, one of the leaders of the staunchly no-quarry Vincent Historical and Environmental Society, said it was essential for those opposing the quarry to have a headquarters.

“The purpose is to have a place where people can come in and support not having a quarry,” she said. “You just need a central location. You can’t have it where everyone is spread out. If you want to get a yard sign, you don’t want to go to 500 different people’s houses.”

Across the street, Kathy Copeland said White Rock Quarries wanted to open a location so Vincent citizens would have information at their fingertips.

“We wanted a nucleus for people to be able to come and get factual information about what we’re doing,” she said. “We want to be very open. We don’t want people to get their info second- or third-hand. We want them to get it first-hand.”

Copeland said the White Rock headquarters is also an opportunity for the company to show their involvement with the town.

“I’m part of this community. I go to the games. I’m part of the chamber. We want to be part of this community,” she said.

Mudd said the Vincent Historical and Environmental Society has collected numbers that appear to show approximately 60 percent of the town opposes the quarry, with 30 percent supporting the quarry and 10 percent undecided.

“From what we can tell, from the feedback we’ve gotten, the majority of people are against the quarry,” she said. “It’s not scientific, though.”

Copeland said she could not confirm or deny Mudd’s numbers because White Rock hasn’t done any polling in Vincent.

“The only thing I can tell you is that signs and shirts are flying out of here. We have quite a lot of people in here daily,” Copeland said. “Every person in town has the option to take whatever position they want. Our goal is to make sure they do it based on the facts.”

Mudd said the Vincent Historical and Environmental Society headquarters should be open every day except Sundays. For more information, visit Noquarry.org.

The Vincent Hills Quarry Information Center is open Monday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. For more information, visit Vincenthills.info.