Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Hilltop plans on mine in Boone Co.

Says proposal different from rejected idea

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Operating an underground limestone mine in Boone County is an idea that won't go away.

        Hilltop Basic Resources Inc., a Cincinnati-based company, announced Tuesday it has developed a proposal for a limestone production facility using a “nontraditional approach.” It plans to file an application with the county Dec. 14.

        “Right now, the application is still being modified,” said Jennifer Kress, a spokeswoman at Dan Pinger Public Relations, speaking for Hilltop. “They're talking with people and working with the planning commission staff. With the whole Martin Marietta filing recently, they're trying to make it a little different.”

        This is the second company to propose an underground limestone mine in Boone County. Martin Marietta Materials Inc., a company whose proposal was denied earlier this year, has filed an appeal of that decision in Boone Circuit Court. Despite company efforts to quell community concerns, residents still voiced opposition to blasting, complained about dust and worried over increased traffic. Finally, fiscal court voted 3-1 against the proposal and said it did not fit the county's comprehensive plan.

Remote location
        Officials from Hilltop Resources watched the process closely and say their proposal is different. Although the company isn't releasing specifics until the application is filed, this is what officials have said so far:

        • The facility would be in a remote location on the Ohio River across from the Miami Fort power plant.

        • Hilltop controls 762 acres between the property where Martin Marietta wants to mine and the Ohio River. Twelve surface acres would be used, leaving land for a greenbelt or park. Officials would not say how much land would be offered to the parks department. Two buildings may be on the 12 acres, one for maintenance or possibly a changing facility for employees.

        • The entire facility would be underground, and the conveyor belts carrying the material would be completely en closed.

        • All material from the facility would be transported by barge on the Ohio River.

Tours possible
        • The company would adhere to the county's 3,000-foot setback, which requires that all underground mining be at least that distance from homes.

        • Spokesmen for the company would not say much about blasting, except that it would be at least 600 feet deep.

        “The property is so remote, it's so far underground, that we feel vibrations from the blasting should not be an issue,” Ms. Kress said.

        Hilltop will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 at the Airport Holiday Inn and give tours of the site if requested.


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