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No Changes Made to Chimney Rock Mining

Stavola Construction requests a renewal of its license for mining.

With economic issues lessening the need for products mined, has requested a renewal of its license for mining at the quarry on Chimney Rock Road, while also stating that it will not mine in any new areas in 2012.

Tom Branch, vice president of Stavola, came before the township council Thursday to present the work done in the quarry during 2011, and the organization's plans for 2012. A resolution authorizing the company to continue its work was awarded by the council at Monday’s regular meeting.

“Under township ordinance, we are required to submit a renewal application each year to continue our business,” he said. “It was filed last month and deemed complete.”

Branch said there are no changes to the plans for 2012, as the company is choosing to continue the same work it did throughout 2011, which is to keep mining in the 400-acre quarry.

But economic issues continue to plague the work, Branch said, and there will be no new locations mined in 2012.

“We have had a downturn in the demand of the product, off by 30 percent,” he said. “In a good year, we have 3.5 million tons of aggregate material, this year was 2.5 million.”

For that reason, Branch said, the company is not looking to increase work in areas that have not already been opened for mining.

“Work will only be done in areas that are already proven for mining,” he said. “We have looked at how better to maximize the use of open areas, and eliminate redundant sites within the quarry.”

In addition, in the past year Branch said, the company has created a new driveway between Chimney Rock Road and Route 22, which allows for traffic to exit and enter directly to and from the highway.

“It is a good addition to the area for what our operation requires,” he said.

“And when you come into the quarry, the thumb has been mostly completed to allow the access roads to operate and providing for stormwater drainage,” he added. “We are considering options to extend rail service back into the quarry.”

Beginning in 2012, Branch said, the company is hoping to see some areas “finaled out” as they continue to complete the quarry in a clockwise fashion.

“We are undergoing some earthwork operations to have materials available for grading,” he said.

Councilman Matthew Moench questioned whether there have been any complaints recently about noise from blasting on the property.

Branch said there have been a total of 45 shots this year, with one on Oct. 21 generating a phone call from a resident.

“The resident thought that event was louder, and had more impact than what we have heard from other shots,” he said.

For those looking to be notified about upcoming blasts, Branch said, there is a call list to be on to be automatically notified several hours before it happens.

“You will get a phone call the day of that event saying that there will be a blast at whatever time it is,” he said. “It is now an automated system. And it is provided in advance to the township by the preceding day.”

Residents looking to be on the list can contact Stavola at 732-542-2328.

“Our experience is that someone who is new to the neighborhood hears or feels the shot for the first time, and then they call for that reason and we make the offer to put them on the call list,” he said. “Some people have gotten so used to it they don’t want to be on the call list.”

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