McHenry City Council continues public hearing on proposed mining operation extension

Meyer Material Co. wants to continue aggregate extraction through 2032

McHENRY – The McHenry City Council continued a public hearing Monday on Meyer Material Co.’s request to renew mining operations until 2032.

The South Elgin-based sand and gravel operator has been mining on property on the north and south sides of Route 120 east of Wonder Lake Road, and it wants the city to extend its conditional use permit to continue operations.

Meyer Material’s property consists of about 156 acres on the north side and more than 1,000 acres on the south side. The city annexed 409 acres in 1988 for the mining business, and it annexed another 117 acres in 1998.

The permit expires this year, but Meyer Material officials want to continue the company’s extractions, according to city documents.

Nicholas Finia, a neighbor to the site, said noise and fumes are significant concerns. When his family bought a house in the area, he said, they did so with the assumption that the mining would be over by 2018, as its original permit calls for.

“You come home from work around 5 [p.m.] or 6 [p.m.] and you want to sit outside and enjoy time with your family,” Finia said. “You can’t really do that because of the dust and the noise.”

Another neighbor called the noise deafening.

“You have to close the doors and windows to hear someone talk in your house,” Gerry Stueckemann said. “The pit has worked with the city for many years. I don’t expect you to veto it, but I expect you to question it.”

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval for the project at its Feb. 14 meeting. The City Council will consider final approval at its April 16 meeting.

Previous concerns by council members have included the company’s hours of operation, noise and the effect on water in the area.

“While there have been some issues due to the fact that the south side abuts residential [areas] … Meyer Material Co. and their parent company have been extremely responsive to residents,” economic development director Doug Martin said in a memo to the City Council. “As a local business, Meyer provides a commodity that is needed to sustain a healthy economy, provides jobs for residents, and the city receives revenue from aggregate mining.”

City staff have recommended several conditions that the company must adhere to to continue mining, including the use of muffled noise alarms on equipment.

Raw material must be processed at Meyer Material’s existing facility on the south side of Route 120, and the company also must have no “substantial or recurring violations” of city, state or federal regulations and laws, according to city documents.

Mayor Wayne Jett assured residents that their concerns will be heard.

“As long as I am sitting here, you will be heard,” he said. “We appreciate you coming out.”

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