GREENWOOD, MO (KCTV) -- A quarry near Greenwood, Missouri is looking for permission to expand and that has many folks in Greenwood, and even Pleasant Hill, up in arms. So many people in fact, that a meeting Tuesday night on the quarry had to be moved to a larger location.
The Greenwood Elementary School gym filled up with folks. A lot of people are going to speak in front of the planning commission and urge them to say no to a special use permit that would allow the nearby quarry to expand.
Barb Byrne’s property in Pleasant Hill overlooks some quiet farmland newly annexed into the city of Greenwood. She and her husband moved there years ago, knowing the Martin Marietta Quarry was about three miles away.
“It was far enough away, and it was fine. We were told that within a certain number of years, they would be done. Because they would be finished mining the land that they have now. There was never any talk about them expanding,” Byrne said.
Now the company is leasing about 2,000 acres of land adjacent to the existing quarry and to Byrne’s home and dozens more.
“I worry about the integrity of my home and then the trucks and the beeping and the noise and the blasting,” Byrne said.
The city of Greenwood is considering changing the zoning of the land now leased by Martin Marietta to allow for mining. Neighbors have signs in their yards protesting the change, thanks in part to Byrne’s extensive research and outreach on the issue.
“This quarry is something that needs to be more studied before we do a contract for 30 years with this billion-dollar corporation,” Byrne said.
Jesse Hill is a lifelong Greenwood resident and member of an environmental group called the Sunrise Movement.
“I had to go to Children’s Mercy several times to receive as much treatments as well as many of my neighbors did. I would cough constantly. And my doctors told my parents that the problem was because of the low air quality,” Hill said.
He says the risks of making Greenwood a permanent mining town outweigh the benefits of the proposed deal.
$850,000 to fix second Street. A six cent per ton tax on materials leaving the quarry, and 200 acres of donated land.
“If Greenwood is worried about growing, which I know there are, this is not the way to go,” Byrne said.
Byrne and her husband created an LLC to fight the quarry expansion and have hired attorney’s. Tuesday night, the zoning commission will make their recommendation on the issue which will then go to the Board of Alderman for a vote. We’ll let you know what happens.