Coal mining plan that will close portion of Shelby County 270 gets initial OK

Published 2:24 pm Monday, April 14, 2014

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA — The Shelby County Commission April 14 authorized its attorney and engineer to negotiate an agreement that will allow an Alabaster mining company to mine coal under a section of Shelby County 270 in the Pea Ridge area for three to five years.  In exchange, the county will receive $500,000.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jesse Creek Mining LLC will mine under Shelby County 270 between Shelby County 10 and Piney Woods Creek. The project will require the temporary closure of Shelby County 270 to regular traffic. Shelby County Engineer Randy Cole said in a previous report that drivers will travel Shelby County 260 as a detour.

Jesse Creek Mining has agreed to restore Shelby County 270 to county standards once the mining is complete. In addition, the company will pay the county $500,000 for “its expenses, management, and other costs, for the public inconvenience and loss of use by the public during the mining and reclamation operations,” according to the agreement.

Also, according to the agreement, Jesse Creek Mining “has agreed to convey to Shelby County for public road purposes an 80-foot-wide right-of-way and to redesign, reconstruct, and restore the public road with improved alignment, width and drainage to the satisfaction of the County Engineer, and to post an approved bond prior to the closure of [Shelby County 270] in an amount sufficient to insure [Jesse Creek Mining’s] performance of said redesign…”

During the commission’s April 14 meeting, County Attorney Frank “Butch” Ellis said the agreement also is contingent upon Jesse Creek Mining constructing a private road providing “acceptable and reasonable” access to another mining company, Kodiak Mining Company, to continue its work near the site. The private road would stretch from Shelby County 10 to the Kodiak property line.

Once the agreement is reached and signed by the negotiating parties, Jesse Creek Mining will be authorized to close Shelby County 270 for a period not to exceed five years from the date of the execution of the agreement.