New House bill could allow continuance of Americus stone quarry project

People living in Americus could be back to the drawing board to try and prevent a stone quarry from being built.

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 7:51 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — People living in Americus could be back to the drawing board to try and prevent a stone quarry from being built.

This comes four months after the Tippecanoe County Board of Zoning Appeals denied the plan.

This fight goes back to 2010, and now more than seven years later all the work from the people of Americus and the county commissioners could be for nothing.

State Rep. Bill Ellington wrote the bill and serves District 62.

It turns out, there are two Rogers Group businesses near that area. Rogers Group is the one behind the project.

News 18 reached out to Ellington and the Rogers Group for comment but have yet to hear back.

Tippecanoe County commissioners and residents of Americus were hoping this issue was behind them.

"The Rogers group is trying to come in the back door," said Americus Community Coalition President Bill Miller. "They know the people around here and the elected officials around here dont want it. And there's no way to pass it so they are trying a different route."

County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh is disappointed in the House's decision to pass it.

"Not only in regards to the Americus quarry issue but all future projects for all sorts of local governments," said Murtaugh. "This is eliminating local control and that's not what should be happening."

Murtaugh later reached out to News 18 and said he was told by Sen. Ron Alting the bill is not expected to make it passed the Senate, but that decision is not final yet.

"Do you really want this group in here," said Miller. "They say they are going to be friendly but they are trying everything they can to sneak in."

Miller and those opposed in Americus say the quarry will bring noise, dust and truck traffic. Potential pollution of the Wabash River is also a big concern.

"It's symply not the right area. This is an area where we have a multitude of houses in an area, it's a floodplain, the impact on the Wabash River and the concerns about wells," said Murtaugh.

The bill will be seen by the chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. If a hearing is not approved, the bill dies.

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