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Cary zoning board to hear Meyer Material's case for Route 31 mining extension

CARY – The end state of the Meyer Material Co. mining site on Route 31 likely will be a main topic Thursday at a public hearing on the company's request for a two-year extension on mining activities.

The Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals will hear Meyer's case for an extension at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, in Crystal Lake.

The current contract requires mining to be finished by June 1, with restoration of the property finished by June 1, 2018. Meyer is seeking an extension that would push the overall deadline for mining and restoration to June 1, 2020.

The zoning board will decide whether to recommend an extension, with the Village Board ultimately deciding whether to approve it.

Village Administrator Chris Clark has asked Meyer's representatives to add details to their presentation Thursday about what the site would look like when work is finished.

If an extension is granted, Clark suggested to the Village Board last week that the village could use its leverage to get Meyer to do extra work toward making the planned lake deep and large enough to accommodate potential recreational uses.

"That’s beyond hundreds of thousands of dollars of work that is also of economic value to the community," Clark said. "This is not a situation right now in our state where grants exist anymore for these kinds of projects. It’s difficult to create capital for recreational projects in this environment."

Crystal Lake opened nearby Three Oaks Recreation Area in 2010 on the site of former gravel pits, but Clark pointed out that the village used more than $14 million of its home rule sales tax funds and other resources Cary doesn't currently have to upgrade the site.

Negotiations for Meyer on a potential extension also would include agreeing to new impact fees and determining where that revenue would go. Past revenue has gone to the village equipment fund and conservancy fund.

Trustee Jim Cosler said he has heard mixed feedback from residents while soliciting opinions on the topic, although most comments have been in favor of an extension.

"There are a lot of factors in this – not only the impact on neighbors surrounding the property, but also potential revenues," Cosler said, adding that he and Trustee Kim Covelli planned to go door-to-door in adjacent neighborhoods to hear feedback. "It's going to take a real long thought process to decide what is best for the community."

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