Greenwood commission recommends against expanding mining operations for 30 years

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Greenwood quarry

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GREENWOOD, Mo. -- At a public hearing that lasted several hours Tuesday, people in communities surrounding Greenwood, Missouri, accused the town of being money hungry in a deal with a mining company.

Many who said the proposed plan will ruin their lives were upset the city annexed land to make decisions about the mine for decades, which the city will profit from, and they said they had no idea it was happening.

The meeting was advertised in a local paper and the closest neighbors were notified, but many said they didn't see or understand it.

Fifth-grader Maya Finn told Greenwood's Planning Commission she lives in Pleasant Hill for its pretty view, clean air and peace and quiet.

“If the quarry is allowed to come up to our yard, all of these things will be destroyed," she said.

Martin Marrieta representatives made their request Tuesday for a special use permit to expand mining operations south toward Cass County for the next 30 years and for a farm annexed by Greenwood to be rezoned from agricultural to M-2.

Planning commissioners on the six-member board voted 5-0 against the special use permit with one commissioner abstaining. They voted 3-2 against the rezoning.

Mayor Levi Weaver, who serves as a tie-breaker vote on the board, was asked erroneously by the clerk for a vote on the rezoning and cast a vote in favor of rezoning that was later stricken from the record.

The debate over the expansion comes just a couple years after the City of Greenwood and property owners won lawsuits against Martin Marietta for damaging roads and being a public nuisance.

So what’s changed?

People outside of Greenwood who suddenly would be affected by the expansion said it’s the $850,000 that the mining company is offering the city as part of the proposal. It's money neighbors said won’t even pay for road repairs to 2nd Avenue that the company’s 142 daily trucks have already helped destroy.

 The new permit would allow for a conveyor belt and 24/7 operations.

 “I think it’s a crying shame a quarry can come in and ruin all these lives," one woman told the commission.

"Hopefully you make the right decision so we don’t have to suffer for it the next 30 years," another man said.

Greenwood would also get 6 cents per ton from mining operations over the next 30 years if Greenwood City Council goes against the Planning Commission's recommendations.

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