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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
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Elkmont rock quarry to move to Tanner

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — A once controversial rock quarry received support Wednesday from county leaders on its move from Elkmont to Tanner.

Eight years ago, when Rogers Group wanted to locate a quarry in eastern Limestone County, residents responded with a "Block the Rock" campaign and sought annexation into Athens, which has more restrictions than the county.

The quarry eventually moved to Elkmont.

"I fought the quarry hard, but Rogers Group has turned out to be an excellent corporate citizen," Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert said. "We receive very little complaints except for the nature of the roads."

Seibert said Rogers Group pays 15 cents a ton for road repairs to District 4, where it is located. That is 5 cents more than the law requires, he said.

Seibert said the move will help the county because the rock trucks can use U.S. 31 from Tanner, which is a road the state funds. Currently, the rock trucks use Easter Ferry Road and other county roads that never were built to hold the weight.

The county's four districts will start sharing the 15 cent per ton tax when the quarry moves, Seibert said.

Rogers Group General Manager Derek Roberts said the quarry is moving to be closer to the county's growth area.

Commissioner Bill Latimer said the site will be in his district on about 120 acres on Laughmiller Road near Swan Creek.

The move will take 18 to 24 months.

"Our service area is closer to that location, especially with the Tanner interchange coming along," Roberts said.

Federal and state dollars are funding a $9.3 million interstate interchange in Tanner at Interstate 65 and Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road, where Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, envisions a Tennessee Valley Authority megasite.

The Alabama Department of Transportation will start utility work Oct. 1 and construction Dec. 7.

Latimer said the Tanner area does not have a lot of homes nearby.

Seibert said the area will "be a lot better fit for a quarry."

"I'm sure there will be some criticism, but it's better that the trucks can use a state road and that the quarry be closer to the growth area," Seibert said.

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