Story by Peter Hancock, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World
The long battle over whether to let Penny’s Concrete and Sand LLC open a sand pit mining operation along the Kansas River near Eudora may be settled on Wednesday, at least as far as Douglas County is concerned.
County commissioners are expected to vote on final approval of a permit for that operation when they meet at 6:35 p.m. at the county courthouse.
Penny’s is seeking to move its current in-river dredge on the river to dry land on property it owns south of the river because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently declined to renew its permit for operating within the river.
Commissioners tentatively approved the permit in March by a 2-1 vote. That vote followed an hours-long public hearing. Their approval was conditioned on the outcome of an engineering study to determine if the sand pit would threaten water quality in the aquifer beneath the site, which serves as the water supply for the city of Eudora and several nearby farmers.
That report was released earlier this month and indicated the proposed sand pit would not pose a threat to those water supplies.
Commissioners Mike Gaughan and Jim Flory supported issuing the permit, provided the engineering study showed it would not threaten water supplies. Commissioner Nancy Thellman opposed the permit.
The only other item up for consideration Wednesday is a consent agenda item to acquire right of way for a culvert replacement on East 1550 Road, about three miles northeast of Baldwin City.