LaFarge looking to mine gravel on More Ranch


— LaFarge Corp. wants to renew its special-use permit to maintain operations of a concrete batch and asphalt plant in the north pit. The move would help buy the company time so it could receive a permit to mine gravel on the More Ranch.

The permit to mine gravel on the south and north pits, which are just south of U.S. 40 on Colorado 131, and to operate the concrete and asphalt operations in the north pit runs out in March 2002. At that time, the pits also will be out of gravel, planning staff member Mary Alice Page-Allen said.

"This proposal does not include any additional mining," she said.

But next month LaFarge will attempt to receive a permit to extend mining operations in the south pit to December 2002, she said.

Bruce Daniel, area manager for LaFarge, said the petitions will help the company maintain business while it works to get approval from the county to mine gravel on property owned by More Family Ranches LLC.

"We are applying in about three weeks on the More property," Daniel said.

Last August, agents from the Steamboat Gravel Co. showed the Routt County Planning Commission its plan to mine 8.5 million tons of gravel from a 102-acre pit on the More Ranch, east of where Colo. 131 crosses the Yampa River.

Shortly after, LaFarge was denied a permit by the Planning Commission to maintain mining near the north and south pits on Fran Werner's land. That left the company without a site to mine when its permits ran out in March 2002.

On Aug. 8, during the Planning Commission meeting with Steamboat Gravel Co., commission Chairman Troy Brookshire said he could not support two pits in the south valley. He also said the More Ranch was a "great location."

The Steamboat Gravel Co. never applied for a permit and a pit has not been approved in the south valley since that time. The More Family Ranches then began working with LaFarge to mine gravel on the ranch, Daniel said.

"We are just trying to buy some time to get the More property permitted," Daniel said. "We'd like to get out of here and over there as quickly as possible."

The petition to extend concrete and asphalt operations in the north pit is for seven years, but Daniel said he doubts the company would need it for that long. If the county allows the More property to be mined, LaFarge would move all of its operations to that property.

There will be a community meeting at 7 p.m. July 16 to explain LaFarge's plan to property owners in the south valley, Daniel said.

At 7 p.m. on July 19 the Routt County Planning Commission will hear the petition to extend the concrete and asphalt plant permit.

Both meetings are at the Routt County Courthouse Annex in the Commissioners' Hearing Room.


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