The city of Liberty is considering digging a new mine they hope will bring six figures of tax revenue each year. However, many nearby homeowners feel the new mine will only dig holes in their pockets.
"I've already turned in about 40 signatures from my petition,” said Liberty resident Royanne Tracy.
The local homeowner is one of several locals who oppose the mine.
"One already said if this goes through, their home is already up for sale,” said Jane Putnam, another homeowner nearby.
If approved, the project would begin immediately in a vacant field near 291 and Seven Hills Road. The digging would then lead to a mine, excavating 4.5 million square feet for limestone.
Dozens of homes sit within about 3,000 feet of the initial site, a distance Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton believes to be far enough way to not bother homeowners. However, many locals feel the project will hurt local roads and home values.
“As you can see, 291 is not in the best of shape, and adding another 120 trucks a day is really gonna mess it up further,” said Tracy.
41 Action News interviewed Brenton Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he had to say about the project:
Why is the mine needed?
"As we expand in the metropolitan area, we need that product [limestone] to build roads, to produce concrete or we’re gonna have a situation where we don't have the basic materials to build buildings and build roads."
How does the mine help Liberty?
"In round numbers, between $100,000 and $200,000 annually is what the city would receive in sales tax."
Where will the mine go and who is in charge?
"They [Liberty Aggregate] are actually mining under the WinterStone Golf Course, which is at Kentucky Road and 291. The gentleman, Harlen Limpus, is the primary owner in the partnership. He's been mining for over 40 years and has done a number of these types of mines."
How will the area be used following the excavation?
"They actually start leasing the space, so they can lease the space and have tenants in part of the mine that they've already excavated while they're continuing to excavate further."
Will this project damage nearby roads?
"If there was something additional that would be required to maintain the integrity of the road, MoDOT would require that of the developer, the city would as well."
According the mayor, several councilman and other City Hall personnel researched another nearby mine. According to their reports, vibrations from blasts couldn’t be felt more than 1,500 feet away. Many of the nearest homes to the new proposed mine are 3,000 feet away.
The Liberty City Council will vote on the project the next time they meet on Monday, May 9 at City Hall.
Josh Helmuth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org