UPDATE: Pennington County commissioners rejected the proposed expansion of this limestone quarry.
Attorney Tom Brady says the company is weighing its options.
The proposed expansion of a rock quarry on a main road to Mount Rushmore has inflamed a dispute between the quarry operator and some local residents and business owners. The Pennington County Commission is holding a meeting on Tuesday the 5th to consider zoning of the quarry and a possible expansion.
Duane Abata lives near the quarry site. He is among those who oppose the proposed expansion of the project on Highway 16.
“What bothers me is they’re locating this pit on a pristine path to Mount Rushmore," says Abata "And here we have tour busses going up and down,. We have families and cars coming all the way across the United States to view Mount Rushmore. And this pit, most likely they’re going to put a cement plant there. It’s going to look like, a barren landscape, it’s a large scar of over 160 acres it’s not a pretty site,” he adds.
Croell Redi-Mix operates the quarry. Officials were not available for immediate comment. Tom Brady is a Spearfish Attorney who represented the company at the February 8th meeting of the Pennington County Planning Commission. He testified in favor of a construction permit.
“The bottom line is substantially straightforward in that Croell Redi-Mix meets all the criteria for a construction permit. It’s a lawful permitted use of this property,” says Brady.
The full Pennington County Commission is considering further action on the matter at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 5th. Those close to the issue say without proper resolution the matter could end up in court.