Mining Plan Strikes Ire Of Citizens, But Officials Dig It

New Windsor Group To Voice Objections On Monday

June 05, 1991|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

A New Windsor citizens group opposes a preliminary county mining plan, but Carroll officials who have seen the proposal generally approve.

"This really does get at the nub of the problem," said Edmund R.Cueman, director of the county Department of Planning.

"I like what I see," said Dennis P. Bowman, a member of the county Planning Commission.

The Mineral Resource Advisory Committee presented its plan for future mining -- which attempts to balance the concerns of citizens and mining companies -- to the County Commissioners and the Planning Commission at a luncheon meeting Monday.

The nine members of the group, all but two without connections to the mining issue, were appointed by the Planning Commission to develop a comprehensive mineral mining plan for Carroll. One member is from the New Windsor Community Action Project, or NEWCAP, and one from the mining industry.

Members of NEWCAP will voice their objections at a public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Francis Scott Key High School, said Doris Pierce, a member of NEWCAP and the advisory committee.

NEWCAP objects to the formation of a Mineral Resource Commission, a five- to seven-member group that would review

complaints from citizens who live near quarries and that would work with state and county governments on mining issues.

"NEWCAP feels the commission could be political appointees that could be biased," Pierce said.

Advisory committee member Jon Buck of Sykesville said the Mineral Resource Commission was recommended because citizens have complained they do not have an easy way to voice concerns about mining.

"The commission is apower tool for the citizens," said K. Marlene Conaway, assistant director of the Department of Planning.

Commissioner Vice President Elmer C. Lippy Jr. said NEWCAP representatives discussed their concerns with him and Commissioner President Donald I. Dell last week.

Lippy and Dell said Monday that they do not like to form new advisory groups.

"Advisory commissions have a way of gaining power and authority and pretty soon are telling people what to do," Dell said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge was ill and did not attend the luncheon Monday.

The county's most plentiful mineral resource -- marble -- is concentrated in the Wakefield Valley area, where two companies mine and a third wants to begin.

In November, the commissioners declareda moratorium on development in the Wakefield Valley area until a mining plan was developed. The moratorium expires in December.

The mining plan must be approved by the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners.

The committee was striving to balance the needs of citizens who enjoy looking out to green fields and mining companieswho must make a profit, Buck said.

Advisory committee member Frederick K. Teeter Sr. of Westminster said some citizens should acknowledge the contribution that

mining has made in the county.

"They don't realize the agriculture-industrial base of this county is important to it," he said.

William V. Lauterbach Jr., chairman of the Planning Commission, said, "This valley has lived with mining and people for so many years. I don't know why it can't be continued."

David Duree, a NEWCAP spokesman, said the group is working on its own mining plan, but would not disclose details.

"We think we have a simple, more effective approach," he said.

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