This is a message which Scott Curry, the alderman of McHenry Ward 4, sent to local residents.

Gravel Pit/Asphalt Plant Annexation agreement

To all,

You are receiving this because you have discussed the gravel pit/asphalt plant with me in the past either via phone or email or you live in the Ward in proximity to the activities of this operation or its traffic and I had your email. I had promised to keep you informed of developments.

The annexation agreement for the part of the operation located south of Rt 120 expires on May 1st. An extension must be approved by Council for operation to continue. The operator is asking that we extend for another 14 years which requires a 4 year variance since normal extensions are in 10 year terms. In addition, the operator is asking that the north of Rt 120 pit area be extended 10 years even though it is not yet due to expire. This would allow operations until 2032 in both areas and they both would expire together.

The Council will discuss this extension at the Monday, February 5 meeting which begins at 7 pm. It is the last item on the agenda. It is a discussion only item, meaning no votes will take place, just a look for consensus of how and what to proceed on. Subsequently, the matter will tentatively be taken up at the Planning and Zoning meeting on February 14 though it could be delayed pending Monday’s discussion. Finally, it will come back to Council at a later date for approval.

All of these meetings are forums for public input. I encourage you to come to one or all meetings, particularly if you have comments or concerns. Any meeting attended is better than none but the earlier in the process your views are heard the easier it is to take them into account.

Representatives from the operation will be present at the meeting and, while procedure will not allow them to take questions from the audience, they will be on hand to answer any questions from Council.

If you know of other interested residents/neighbors who would like to know more about this operation and annexation agreement you may pass along this information to them.

Thank you,
Alderman Scott Curry

P.S. Additional information

I have been involved off and on with resident concerns since shortly after taking office in 2015. Issues are mainly around hours of operation and noise disturbance but have also included an occasional dust concern and change in quarry operational area.

There have been instances of them operating the asphalt plant outside their allowable hours over the years such as early startup or Sunday operating, neither of which are allowed. But no instances I’ve been notified of since November 2015. However, they still currently have the ability to start that operation at 5 am, and do, which some residents believe is too early. It is an issue we are looking at.

As concerns the noise level, the asphalt operator did make a change in 2016 to the burner to lower the noise level. I have noted an improvement at my location.

In terms of dust, I know a few instances have occurred but think it has been an isolated upset in the operation or a need to add more road wetting during particular dry times. I believe these dust issues have been quickly addressed each time.