A four year battle over a gravel pit on Bloomington's southwest side has finally ended with an unanimous McLean County Board vote in favor of the project. Board member Susan Shafer says there are still people firmly opposed to the pit off Stringtown Road, but she believes the compromise is worthwhile.
"Well you're never going to please everyone. And I think the residents realize that. However it is generally a good agreement. They believe it will result in a positive outcome in development."
The gravel pit will operate only for a limited number of years and will be further away from Fox Creek elementary school than originally proposed. Dust suppression measures, extraction techniques, and hours of operation have all been agreed to by Jim Finnigan and Stringtown Lakes LLC. Stringtown will also do major processing of the gravel off site. The developer will then build an upscale subdivision including a 24 acre lake.
The lengthy struggle, member Eric Rankin says, shows the virtues of SLOW government.
"This is a project that will bring much needed money and bodies to the area. That said I want to thank the intervenors as an example of good government. These were people who stepped up and took on another entity and did so because they thought it was the right thing to do."
Susan Shafer says nearby residents believe promises from Stringtown LLC, but remain cautious.
"However, the fat lady hasn't sung yet. And for most of them she won't sing until we see streets and houses out there."
The agreement also settles a two year old lawsuit against the county.
Support Your Public Radio Station