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Cary zoning board gives positive recommendation for Meyer Material machine

Board also recommends 24-hour use of machine weekdays, 12-hour use Saturdays

CARY – The Cary Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals reviewed a petition from Meyer Material Co. at its meeting Thursday and made three recommendations for the Village Board to consider. 

Meyer Material presented different scenarios so that the Village Board would have more options, said Brian Simmons, Cary community development director.

The zoning board gave a unanimous positive recommendation to allow Meyer Material to use a floating dredge to finish mining, he said. 

The board also gave a positive recommendation in a 4-1 vote to allow Meyer to use the machine for 24 hours on weekdays and for 12 hours during the day Saturday, Simmons said. 

Board member Eric Kretschmer was the sole opposing vote on the 24-hour proposal, and the sole yes vote on the third proposal, which would allow the new machine to be used from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, Simmons said.

According to the 24-hour-use plan, mining would be complete by Dec. 15, 2017, and restoration complete by June 1, 2018. The second mining schedule would push back both dates by about a year. 

Board member Frank O’Laughlin did not participate in the meeting because he is an employee of Meyer Material, and member Neil Williams was absent. 

“We are attempting to complete our mining activities as quickly, as quietly and as cleanly as possible, as well as delivering the subsequent lake and property as according to the original agreement of June 1, 2018, said Anthony Gianakis, regional operations manager for LafargeHolcim, which merged with Meyer.

All will be considered by the Cary Village Board at its Nov. 1 meeting, Simmons said, which likely will be held at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn. 

At the Oct. 4 Village Board meeting, trustees agreed to hear the excavation company’s new proposal to use a floating dredge machine to complete mining at its property off Route 31.

The Village Board had rejected a request for a three-year mining agreement by a 3-3 vote May 17, and Meyer continued to mine the site from June to September and pay the associated $100,000-a-month fee from the original agreement.

At Thursday’s zoning meeting, acoustics consultant Thomas Thunder presented an acoustics study he conducted to determine what the noise level would be with the floating dredge. 

Thunder determined the effect of the dredge by comparing the ambient noise in the neighborhood, both near the pit and homes. He determined the sound of the dredge would be “minimally audible” from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., and the rest of the time, it would be lower than ambient noise in the area.

Chairman Patrick Khoury noted that the study was conducted when restoration, not mining, was occurring on site. 

Frank Krettler, Cary resident and an independent gravel hauler, said he’s been around similar machines and the sounds they make is “white noise.”

“They’re talking about finishing this thing, and I think we should give Meyer the chance to finish this thing, make it a park and turn it into something that’s really nice,” Krettler said. “I don’t want to see it just neglected half finished.”

Meyer is asking the village for details on how it would like the lake to be constructed, Simmons said.

Other residents spoke about concerns on how accurate the noise study was and what would happen if Meyer doesn’t finish in the required time.

“We shouldn’t be here,” resident Bruce Janu said. “And I’m not sure what’s going to prevent them from coming again when it’s not finished, because I’m not confident that it will be finished, regardless of what equipment they’re using.” 

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