Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2000

Caught between a rock quarry and a hard place


September 21, 2000

In the world of thriving municipalities a battle that sometimes pits the haves against the have-nots size does in fact matter, which would explain the mindset some city officials have in wanting to expand.

But before annexing any parcel of land, we would hope for two things:

First, that the town is able to provide service not only for the newly annexed area, but also for the existing township residents.

Second, that the annexation of the land does not lessen the quality of life for those living within the city limits.

That being said, we hope the DeSoto City Council makes certain it can meet these criteria before annexing a rock quarry into the city limits.

While we understand that before it can grant voluntary annexation to two developers with land south of the city limits, it must first annex the quarry, which sets between the city limits and the land. We question whether the annexation of a quarry is best for the residents of DeSoto.

We wonder if this will improve the quality of life for those living here already.

Consider that this is more than just a proposal to bring a rock quarry into town. The annexation will also regulate the quarry's operation.

In 1991, Hunt Midwest, which owns the quarry, received a 10-year conditional-use permit from Johnson County to operate the quarry about 1.25 miles south of K-10 adjacent to the Sunflower Ammunition Plant.

The county restricts Hunt Midwest's activities at the quarry from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meanwhile, blasting must occur from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week.

The city agreement would allow Hunt Midwest to mine rock from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It would not allow blasting on Saturday, but would allow Hunt Midwest to blast until 4 p.m. on weekdays.

It seems that DeSoto residents will suffer a loss in quality of life if this annexation goes through. We have no problems with businesses doing what they need to do even if that means the detonation of the landscape to get the job done.

However, we wonder why the rules put in place by the county 10 years ago are no longer satisfactory. It appears Hunt Midwest is attempting to circumvent the rules and regulations in place by taking advantage of an unsuspecting municipality.

It's a Catch 22, really. Until DeSoto grows, it will continue to be the prey of companies like Hunt Midwest. However, it will never grow until companies like Hunt Midwest are allowed to move in.

Perhaps the moral of this story can be summed up in three simple words: Size doesn't matter.

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