After reading the comments made by several county commissioners, I felt the need to write this letter.
I am really confused by the planning commission's vote of approval on the Lafarge industrial operation. I don't really see how Commissioner Wayne Adamo and Commissioner Fred Nichols could feel "this would preserve open space more than anything I see."
I don't quite understand this statement.
Perhaps I'm missing something in the interpretation.
I'm sure there are other ways to preserve this area other than locating a permanent concrete plant, crushing and screening plant, washing plant and asphalt batch plant for 15 to 20 years.
The experience with Lafarge says that it will not end in that time frame.
We know for a fact the ranch owners were offered a fair market price for their land to put it in a conservation trust, but they turned it down in favor of a gravel pit.
So we know there was another alternative to the Lafarge proposal that would have preserved the open space Adamo and Nichols are concerned about.
According to Nichols the homes that dot the hillside detract from the rural landscape. If he feels this way how can he not be against the Lafarge proposal?
Lafarge said it can reclaim this land, but it is unlikely the company can make it better or even put it back like it is now. Look at what the company has done at other sites and we can see that this is not their forte.
Lafarge makes claims it will keep the trucks off the roads in bad weather (fog). But I don't see how anyone could control this situation. The trucks travel when they want to now.
Living on the ridge overlooking this, I have seen what the weather is like. Fog settles into the valley and doesn't let go for quite some time.
When the plant is working and the smoke and dust are going into the air what is going to happen to it?
It will not be going in a small straight line, as Lafarge depicts in their computer generated simulation, there will be inversion.
In talking to other members of our community they were not aware of the size of this industrial operation or the length of time Lafarge is planning to stay in this area.
Perhaps this is because of how the "gravel pit" was positioned in the newspaper. (As a "gravel pit," not the five pits, permanent concrete plant, seasonal crushing and screening plant, washing plant and asphalt batch plant).
When the people understand the scope of this industrial plan they seem shocked and appalled that the county commissioners would have let this proceed so far.
We do not live in an industrial area; this is an agricultural area. Steamboat does not need an industrial venture such as this.
The plants we have are more than adequate for the community needs.
Our large building phase for the community is slowing down quite rapidly.
Why, in the middle of one of America's most beautiful valleys do we feel the need to add something of this proportion in the size of community we have?