2021 Year in Review

July 2021- Logan County Board approves zoning request to mine
Conditional use permitting on hold

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[January 06, 2022]   At the Logan County Board meeting Tuesday, July 20, the board voted on several action items. One focus of discussion was whether to approve the conditional use request for mining.

Board members present either in person or remotely were Board Chairman Emily Davenport, Vice Chairman Scott Schaffenacker, David Blankenship, Janet Estill, Bob Farmer, Dale Nelson, David Hepler, Steve Jenness, Keenan Leesman, Bob Sanders, Annette Welch and Jim Wessbecher.

Planning and Zoning

At the Thursday, July 15th Board Workshop, Doug Muck shared the plans for mining sand, gravel and limestone with the board. The proposed project area is north of Salt Creek, west of 900th Avenue, south of 1575th St and east of Kickapoo Creek. There are 407.8 acres are in the proposed area.
Before the board voted on the applications on Tuesday, Muck briefly spoke about his quest for mining, which began in 2012.

Over the years, Muck said Logan County’s Development Plans identified limestone, sand and gravel deposits in places in the county including the proposed location.

The plan said limestone, sand and gravel have value to the economy, the county and the city of Lincoln. These resources provide building materials and road making materials among other uses. All the products are useful and needed.

Sand, gravel and limestone are products used by farmers, builders and homeowners. Muck said limestone is useful for agriculture because it adjusts the pH in the soils and improves productivity of the land. Limestone can also be used for making concrete.

Farmers have been without a local source of limestone since 2010. In 2010, Muck said, limestone was selling for nine dollars a ton and recently he paid twenty-six dollars a ton for it.

Having limestone available in Logan County would generate revenue for the county. Muck said in Heyworth, where Carrie Scharf Materials Company mines and sells sand and gravel, they generate quite a bit of sales tax.

When mining for these products, Muck said he does not want to do any harm to people here. He believes the area they hope to mine is well screened and the plant will not be seen. There will be little noticeable noise.

With the limestone, they would need to blast to fracture the stone. Muck said it would be done by professional blasting crews who know what they are doing and use a minimal number of explosives. If everything is approved, Muck said it would be at least a few years before they get to the limestone.
Muck has talked to Logan County Highway Engineer Bret Aukamp about the roads and made progress with Aukamp’s suggestions.

If approved to start mining. Muck would communicate with West Lincoln Township Road Commissioner Austin Goodman to work any other road issues out.

Since Muck believes he has met all the requirements and put a lot of time, effort and finances into planning, he asked the board to approve the rezoning and conditional use permits. Muck said he wants to be a good neighbor and wishes he could have had more conversations with those who live nearby. He included a letter with the notice asking for calls, but only received two calls.

Mike White, who lives near the proposed project area, brought a list of 30 signatures to share with the board. These signatures were from residents who live near the quarry asking the board to vote against the zoning.

Brent Hellman is a farmer and serves as a Trustee for Prairie Creek Township. Hellman said having limestone in the county would keep them from having to drive much further to get these products. He hopes the board can accommodate issues noted by nearby residents.

Before voting, Schaffenacker said he is in favor of rezoning. To put everyone at ease, he said there are many conditions which must be met.

Jenness said he is in favor of the project. However, he wants to make sure this company does not leave a mess after mining is done like a previous company did at a nearby quarry. Jenness would like more time to do research.



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Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman David Hepler’s motion for a resolution to amend the Logan County Zoning Map to allow mining passed 7-4-1.

Blankenship, Estill, Davenport, Hepler, Leesman, Sanders and Schaffenacker voted yes.

Jenness, Nelson, Welch and Wessbecher voted no.

Farmer abstained due a possible conflict of interest.

Before voting on the conditional use permit, Davenport said there are a lot of conditions to go over that the board did not have time to review. She would like to have a subcommittee go over the list of conditions.

The issue cannot go back to the Planning and Zoning Committee, but D’Andrea told Hepler it could be discussed further by a subcommittee before being brought back to the board.

Davenport said the subcommittee would have two members of the Planning and Zoning Committee and one other board member, and meet with Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea, Muck and Aukamp. They could then bring the conditional use permit and conditions listed back to the full board next month for approval.

Welch then made a motion to table approving the resolution for a Conditional Use Permit with the conditions [for mining].

From a homeowner’s perspective, Welch said the board owes other homeowners the time to make sure they are addressing concerns some members of the public have.

The board unanimously approved tabling the resolution for the Conditional Use Permit.

Building and Grounds Committee update

The board approved the following motions from Building and Grounds Committee Chair David Blankenship:

- To move forward with restoration of Scully Park Fountain by Elite Construction in the amount of $24,250.

Bill Walter of MRTS donated his services for the restoration including the specifications, bidding and project management.

At the Building and Grounds Committee meeting, Blankenship said Elite Construction has experience working with residential and commercial fountains. The company also grasped what is needed for restoration and charges reasonable prices.

Elite Construction would pull apart the fountain to do concrete replacement and make changes. They would restore the fountain, put epoxy on the outside and coating on the inside.

- To cancel the current KONE elevator maintenance contract subject to approval by the State’s Attorney.
- To accept the proposed TKE elevator [formerly Thyssenkrupp Elevator] maintenance contract subject to approval by the State’s Attorney.

Blankenship reached out to Thyssenkrupp about a new elevator contract. They have done some recent repairs on a case-by-case basis.

With TKE having a regional representative, Blankenship hopes for more direct contact and improved response times.

Road and Bridge Committee update

The board unanimously approved a motion from the Road and Bridge Committee for a resolution to award a contract to Truman Flatt & Sons in the amount of $112,778.50 to resurface the Country Place Subdivision in Mount Pulaski Township.

The next Regular Board meeting will be Tuesday, August 17 at 6 p.m. in the Orr Building.

[Angela Reiners]

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