CARY – The ball is in Meyer Material's court as to whether it wants to formally petition for more time to mine, the Cary village administrator said.
After an annual presentation from Meyer Material during Tuesday's Village Board meeting, Village Administrator Chris Clark said the board reiterated the existing agreement that calls for the end of mining operations by June 2016 stands.
That deal states that mining operations have to be completed by June 2016, and restoration has to be completed by June 2018.
Clark said Meyer needs to decide whether it wants to go through a zoning process and officially ask for an extension, stop mining in June 2016 or start paying monthly $100,000 fines for mining past the deadline.
The company has floated the idea of asking that mining operations be allowed to continue until June 2018, as restoration work goes on simultaneously, in order to leave behind a lake that is the size that was originally projected in 2008 when the work was approved.
"The board is concerned about the adjacent residents and the impact [Meyer] has," Clark said.
Meyer Material is behind its planned schedule for mining gravel on 102 acres along Route 31. Even though work has picked up in the last few years after the downturn in the economy, the company has not been able to catch up to where it wanted to be.
Meyer could request for an amendment to its conditional-use permit for additional time for mining operations. This would require a hearing with the Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals, and approval by the Village Board.
In the past, Meyer had asked for a four-year extension of mining operations for four years because of poor economic conditions. The zoning board recommended denying the request, and the company withdrew the request before the Village Board could make a decision on the matter.
The company can proceed with mining past June 2016, but would have to pay monthly $100,000 fines until mining operations cease.
"It could be a business decision for Meyer to pay the [fines] as part of the process," Clark said. "Ultimately, Meyer corporate needs to decide what is the best move.
"The ball is in their court."
Meyer Material could continue at its current pace and cease mining operations by June 2016. With operations behind schedule, the entire project will not have been mined as planned and likely leave a smaller lake than originally presented in 2008.
Clark added company and village officials have discussed meeting about the issue during the next 90 days. "It's good they are being open about it," Clark said. "The board is balancing the concerns."
A phone call to Meyer Material was not returned Wednesday.