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Rock crushing plant voted down

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2014

Members of the community attend a zoning board meeting last week.

The Platte County Zoning Board held its monthly meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9. Citizens, exercising their right to be heard, turned out in droves. Decisions were to be made on three different parcels. The first two were not controversial, even though one of them – approval for the new nursing home – will benefit Platte County for decades to come.

It was the proposed rock plant that drew the attention of the people. Attendees came from as far as Laramie to express opposition. As chairman Herschel Pruitt told the assembly, “We always like to have a nice bunch of interested citizens.” The rock plant would have been on Front Street north of Oak. And while the zoning board knew that the rock plant could add more than 30 jobs, and over $6 million a year, to the local economy, the voice of so many citizens could not be ignored. 43 people in attendance rose to register their opposition to the proposal.

Among them, was Dr. Laurie Palmer. She lives on Oak Street, near the proposed site of the plant. She was concerned, because dust from rocks can have adverse health effects. Silicosis is a lung disease that can occur from exposure to fine particles of rock dust. According to Dr. Palmer, it “can come on acute and fast, or it can occur over years. But once you get it, it continues to progress, even if you’re out of the exposure zone.”

The strong showing by affected citizens had a strong effect on the board. They voted 3-2 not to continue with the application.

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