A public hearing on the proposed expansion of a Town of Rutland gravel pit has been removed from a Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee’s agenda.
The quarry on Center Road, which has been around since the Great Depression, has been a hot topic of debate in recent months.
Town chair Peter Loughrin requested the county to have the county’s hearing, previously scheduled for July 28, postponed so Rutland could have its public hearing and board action first, town clerk Dawn George confirmed. She said she did not know when the county public hearing will be rescheduled.
The town has been discussing the quarry’s expansion, but it has yet to reschedule a hearing it had set for March 24, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kevin Hahn, owner of the quarry, has applied to change the zoning of an additional 38 acres he wants to use to expand his business from its current nine acres. The land is zoned for agricultural uses and requires a permit in addition to the zoning.
As recently as its July 7 meeting on Zoom, Loughrin told the Town Board that the county was hosting a public hearing July 28. He said he has discussed the public hearing on the mineral extraction site with Dane County officials.
“They have told me they will have testimony, but won’t take any action until the town does,” Loughrin said of the gravel pit’s public hearing.
The town’s rescheduling of its own hearing has been slowed by county restrictions on gatherings because supervisors have been trying to arrange an in-person gathering, but have been unable to arrange a site that would be large enough.
Some town residents have opposed the expansion, citing safety and noise.
“The more people who register opposition, the better,” Rutland resident Gail Simpson wrote to the Observer.
Hahn’s permit application states he plans to use the additional acres to extract dolomite, a mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate. The limestone-like mineral will then be processed and aggregate mineral products for various uses such as building construction and roads.
According to the application, the work that would be ongoing in four stripping phases from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, include removing topsoil and overburden to form berm or slopes for noise reduction, landscaping and reserving material for reclamation; blasting to loosen rock from the quarry wall, crushing of the rock into appropriately sized material, stockpiling the crushed rock and other aggregate; and selling and hauling the crushed rock from the quarry site.
Before mineral extraction begins, according to the permit application, berms (rolling hills) will be created, fencing will be completed and erosion control measures will be taken.
Several town residents requested that any county public hearing notice be placed on Rutland’s website to notify other residents in case they want to speak on the quarry expansion proposal.