Proposed quarry draws early opposition
MADISON, Wis. — A proposed quarry in Fitchburg has neighbors trying to stop it before it ever starts.
The 45 acre limestone quarry would be run by Yahara Materials out of Waunakee on property owned by Bob Wolf off of Grandview Road in Fitchburg.
Wolf says he spent many years looking out over the picturesque ridge on his property never knowing that underground was a limestone deposit. A geologist shared the news a number of years ago.
“He told me, ‘Bob, I’m going to tell you right now that you’re probably sitting on one of the best investments in Dane County,'” Wolf said at his home on Friday.
After years of raising mink and now chickens and ducks on the farm, and getting 4-5 offers to mine the gravel, Wolf says Yahara Materials gave him the best offer and he’s trusting them to mine the gravel.
“The material is here and it’s good material,” said Robin Loger, a Superintendent with Yahara Materials. “Location is an important thing with transportation costs benig the way they are and there is a need for material in the area.”
But the signs now surrounding the Wolf farm and lining Grandview Road tell a different story. “No mine on Grandview” signs appear in the yards of a number of homes, including Tim Barry.
“We’re talking about ripping the top 50 feet off the prettiest hill around and plopping a mine in the middle of it with dump trucks,” said Barry.
Barry has started a website and facebook page to put a stop to the quarry, concerned about heavy dump truck traffic on Grandview and Fitchrona Roads which have a large amount of bike traffic, along with environmental concerns.
“I’m not afraid to say we don’t want this mine, but I’ll also give you all the reasons why,” said Barry. “We have a lot of good reasons and most of all it just does not make sense for Fitchburg.”
Yahara Materials says they are in the midst of traffic, environmental and real estate studies of the plan.
“They have legitimate concerns and we’re going to address all the concerns,” said Loger.
Wolf says, the rock has to come out sometime.
“We never can pick our parents and we can’t pick where the gravel is,” said Wolf. “This is where the glacier left it.”
Yahara Materials has yet to officially apply for a conditional use permit for the property to the City of Fitchburg, and they likely won’t do that until June when their studies are completed.
Alderman Steve Arnold and Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff both say they have concerns about the quarry, both environmentally and for the amount of truck traffic this would put on the road. They both say they’re anxious to see the plan submitted to the city’s Plan Commission.