Local News

Siler City Residents Resist Rock Quarry Plans

Posted July 25, 2006

— Some Chatham County residents have been fighting a plan to build a new quarry off old State Road 421.

Siler City leaders approved the project because it will bring jobs. But there wasn't an empty seat in the house at Tuesday night's public hearing, as more than 100 people filled the courtroom in protest.

The peace and quiet is what Rosmarie Eiler likes best about living on her farm in Siler City, where she and her fiancé breed Alpacas on 12 acres and sell their fleece to spinners. But they fear their business and their quality of life will be in jeopardy if developers get the green light to build a rock quarry in their backyard.

"There's not going to be the sound of the birds, crickets and frogs," said Eiler. "It's going to be 24/7 rock crushing."

Because of the opposition, the state decided to hold the public meeting, where protesters voiced concerns over noise, the environment and public safety.

"Our children would also be at risk of being injured or run over by heavy machinery or dump trucks getting on and off school buses," said one opponent.

Earlier this month, local leaders voted in favor of the project. Elected officials said it would be the economic boost Siler City needed. But ISP Minerals still must obtain state and federal permits before moving forward.

Eiler just hopes her voice and the voices of others in opposition will be heard -- for her sake and the sake of the Alpacas.

"They like the quiet, and so it will make them quite nervous hearing the noise all the time," she said.

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