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Algoma Township prepares for public meeting over proposed gravel mining operation

A proposed gravel and sand mining operation is being considered for a 39 acre lot of land along the Rogue River
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 17:58:50-04

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Officials are expecting dozens of residents to show up Tuesday evening to offer their input in regards to a possible gravel and sand mining operation being proposed on a property along the Rogue River.

The 39 acre property sits on 10 Mile Road, just west of Pine Island Drive, and is owned by developer Gene Benting.

FOX 17 heard from several homeowners last week who were concerned about the potential impacts a mining operation near their homes would have.

Are we going to have to stay in our homes for the next 10 years while this goes on? What are we looking at here?,” asked Barbara Ely, who lives near the proposed development, last week.

Algoma Township Supervisor Kevin Green has been working to figure out how best to accommodate all residents wishing to share their opinions Tuesday night.

“We’re trying to make sure we have 6-foot spacing with the chairs," Green told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon.

"We're limiting the capacity to 12 people within the chambers, as well as the staff and planning commission... we’ll be bringing people in so they can get a chance to speak as well and then we’ll just rotate people so they get a chance to be heard."

The majority of residents will have to watch from a designated area in the parking lot just north of the township hall.

“We’re renting AV equipment and we’re actually going to show a couple screens outside in our north parking lot," Green said.

Township employees will bring people inside throughout the meeting so they can ask questions or share their opinion about the potential project.

“People are very concerned, very passionate and then in addition to that, we’re dealing with the situation with COVID. And that does add a layer of complexity to trying to make sure we do this right,” Green said Tuesday afternoon.

Two large television screens were set up along with a PA speaker system around 3:00pm in the parking lot.

Green says there will be thorough research requested into the impact the mining operation could have on the area before anything moves forward.

“There will be an extensive environmental review. They will also make sure it fits our master plan, make sure it fits all our ordinances that deal with zoning. There’s going to be traffic studies requested, as well as a business plan," Green said Tuesday.

"So there’s a lot of steps that have to be met by the applicant for us to even possibly consider it.”

Tuesday's meeting starts at 7:00pm at the Algoma Township hall.