CARY – The Village Board rejected Meyer Material Co.’s request for a three-year extension on mining activities at its site near Route 31 after comments from neighboring residents who had spoken against the extension at several recent meetings. Trustees were split, 3-3, on the issue Tuesday, but the Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals’ negative recommendation in January required a supermajority of four trustee votes to approve the extension until 2019.
Trustees Jim Cosler, Kim Covelli and Jeff Kraus voted against the proposal, and Ellen McAlpine, David Chapman and Rick Dudek voted in favor. Village President Mark Kownick expressed support for the extension but was not allowed to vote because of the negative zoning board recommendation.
Cosler said he felt both sides of the argument were equally valid but sided with the residents, whose concerns included property values along with dust and noise from the site.
“The real issue here is trust – trust in your elected officials,” Cosler said. “There’s nobody on this board that understands that more than I do. When you come down to that stance of trust and doing the right thing, I plan on voting no to restore the trust.”
The vote was applauded by about 20 residents of Fox Trails subdivision who attended the meeting. The negative vote leaves the future of the mining site uncertain. The current agreement stipulates that the company must pay a $100,000 fee per month for mining past June 1, although Village Administrator Chris Clark said Meyer Material has argued it only would need to pay the fee in months when the site is being actively mined.
Meyer representative Randi Wille said the company likely would extend mining for several months this year to fulfill current customer commitments but was unsure how much longer it might continue.
Clark said the contract, which was written in 2008, had other holes in it, including a lack of a specific plan for how the site must be turned over to the village. The agreement said restoration of the land must be finished by June 1, 2018.
The rejected proposal defined the grading work Meyer would have to do to allow for a future passive-use park on the site and stipulated that Meyer would pay a total of $2.5 million in fees. Dudek, the only trustee who was on the board that passed the 2008 agreement, acknowledged the contract’s shortcomings and said he voted yes to correct them.
“It was a crappy agreement. We did not properly plan for how it was going to be turned over,” Dudek said. “This agreement we’re talking about now rectifies a mistake that was made in 2008. ... I feel, for a relatively short extension, this community will get a much better product than what will happen if we do not extend it.”