Residents wait for next move with proposed stone quarry

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

AMERICUS, Ind. (WLFI) — Legal arguments behind a proposed stone quarry in Americus will not be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court. Now, residents in that area will wait for the next move.

“We didn’t know what to expect. Most of us had never dealt with this type of a thing before,” said Kay Miller, with the Americus Area Community Coalition.

When residents formed the coalition in 2013, Miller said they didn’t know what to expect.

“We have found out how to navigate some of the political process,” Miller said. “We have learned how to navigate websites. We’ve met our elected officials and found out how approachable most of them are.”

It all started when the Rogers Group announced plans for a stone quarry in the area. Since then, the proposal has been tied up in the court system.

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners passed an ordinance banning mining operations, like a stone quarry, in residential areas. The Rogers Group then sued unsuccessfully. The case went to the Court of Appeals of Indiana, which ruled against the county’s ordinance. It upheld the Board of Zoning Appeals’ requirement for a special exception for mining operations in a flood plain. Both sides then asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear the case.

“The Supreme Court found on a 3-2 decision that the case didn’t merit being heard by them. So, that puts the parties back into Tippecanoe County,” said Bob Reiling, the attorney representing the county.

Reiling said he’s not surprised with the decision.

“The Supreme Court has guidelines as to what situations they will actually hear and appeal,” he said. “Normally, it’s got to be something that’s a conflict in the law, something new – much like our rules to get into the United States Supreme Court.”

Miller said going through the process has brought the community closer together.

“This has created an opportunity for us to interact, find out who our neighbors are, what their interests are, what we have in common,” said Miller.

For now, those neighbors will wait.

“It is the waiting game,” Miller said. “We wait to see what their next move is.”

Reiling guesses the next move for the Rogers Group could involve going before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The Rogers Group’s attorney Chris Shelman did not comment on the company’s next move.

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