The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Carthage, Jasper County

March 15, 2010

Jasper council opposes plan for limestone quarry

By Wally Kennedy

JASPER, Mo. — Battle lines are being drawn over a proposal to open a new limestone quarry less than a mile northeast of Jasper.

The Jasper City Council has passed a resolution opposing the quarry. The council is concerned that the quarry, which would be near U.S. Highway 71, could disrupt the city’s plan for economic development.

Representatives of the council recently approached the Jasper County Commission asking that it adopt a similar resolution, but the commission declined.

Neighbor’s complaint

The council members are not the only ones complaining. Jack Dunham, who owns a farm next to the land where the quarry would be, also has approached the County Commission about the proposal. He has requested that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources hold a hearing on the matter.

Dunham is upset about the possibility of air contamination and blasting near his house. His son has asthma. But he also is concerned about how the quarry might be operated in light of what already is happening on the quarry property.

“If they operate the quarry like they handle their chicken litter, then we could have a real problem,” Dunham said.

Dunham said the odor from the fertilizer operation can be overpowering at times.

“It depends a lot on which way the wind is blowing,” he said. “If it’s from the east, it can be horrible.”

He also said runoff from the operation has affected Coon Creek, which flows across his property. He has brought his concerns to the attention of the DNR’s regional office at Springfield.

Property owner

Steve Tong, owner of the quarry site and the chicken litter operation, said the quarry project should be given a green light because it would create jobs for the Jasper area. He said it is being opposed by the Jasper City Council because his quarry would compete with a quarry operated by Jasper’s mayor, Paul Nelson. The Nelson Brothers Quarry is about a mile or so east of the proposed quarry site.

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Carthage, Jasper County