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home : news : business   April 30, 2016

10/5/2013 1:26:00 PM
New sand quarry coming to Utica?


A semi passes along East Eighth Road north of Utica and north of where Route 178 ends. A new sand mine operation, and potentially 30 new jobs, is under review on 500 acres there, with an entrance slated about 2,500 feet north of the Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
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A semi passes along East Eighth Road north of Utica and north of where Route 178 ends. A new sand mine operation, and potentially 30 new jobs, is under review on 500 acres there, with an entrance slated about 2,500 feet north of the Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.

NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter



Utica could get another sand mine — along with 30 new jobs.
Village officials confirmed this week that a hearing is pending on petitions to add a sand quarry, about 500 acres in size, on land generally located north of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
If the Utica Planning Commission recommends annexation and variances, and if the village board agrees, then Utica would have two distinct, active sand mines including the 562-acre quarry (parent company: Illinois Cement) located on U.S. 6 near the Osage curves.
An Oak Brook company called Aramoni LLC has filed petitions asking to annex some land (some already is within village limits) into Utica in addition to variances for sand mine operations. Aramoni is a partnership that had included developer Bill Gahlberg, who died late last year.
The property in question sits on either side of East Eighth Road (Route 178 ends at a point south of the property) and is further bisected by North 31st Road. The proposed entrance would be on County Highway 43 about 2,500 feet north of Love’s.
Aramoni principals Stephen M. Schuster and Laura K. Smith plan to quarry “industrial sands” for use in glassmaking and molds. The partners own another 600 acres in the area in addition to the planned quarry site.
“I would assume that the product would, in some percentage, be used in the hydraulic fracturing process,” Schuster confirmed.
The mining component would be operated under the title Ancell Sands, LLC and could generate what Schuster described as 30 “fairly well paying jobs.” Additional details, such as potential revenues, were not immediately disclosed.
Schuster confirmed that a hearing before Utica officials has not been scheduled. Aramoni and village officials were mulling over dates when Mayor Fred Esmond died earlier this week.
A hearing was indefinitely postponed out of respect for Esmond and to allow village officials time to reorganize.
Meanwhile, the existing quarry, the one Illinois Cement pushed for last year, soon could get bigger.
Ottawa attorney George Mueller, who represents plaintiffs suing the sand company, said quarry attorneys confirmed the purchase of additional acres to the east of the existing quarry near the Osage curves. Mueller said they’ve disclosed to him their intent to annex into Utica at some point in the future.
“And they’ve made no secret of that to me,” Mueller said.
Petitions have not been filed.
That project drew heavy opposition at a hearing concluded in January 2012. The Utica Planning Commission actually recommended the village not annex the company’s (at that time Illinois Sand) petition to annex 562 acres into the village.
Mueller and the affected neighbors sued the company in La Salle County Circuit Court. The case is pending. Mueller said the parties have negotiated but a disposition isn’t imminent.
“I would characterize (negotiations) as low-key at this point,” he said. “There is no hot offer on the front burner.”

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or courtreporter@newstrib.com.








Related Stories:
• Clean water or good jobs? Residents weigh in on quarry





Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Article comment by: MotherEarthSpeaks

This area is pock-marked and blighted with large holes in the ground, air so thick with particles that the trees, plants, people and animals are exhibiting breathing diseases and dying, and the ground is turning to cement.

Have you noticed any of these conditions, or is just me?

To continue on this path is a dangerous journey in my opinion. Millions globally are standing with me to protect their living conditions, yet we pander to the destroyers of our quality of life.

You want jobs? Hire counselors for your local schools (the principal at a local elementary school needs 2), hire more and better teachers, set up organic farms, repair the eco-damage already done to the environment, plant trees to counter the damage, and do no more.

Open your minds and your hearts to REAL local needs of your people and the environment.




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