Highway contractor proposes crushing operation in Helper
|This area west of Highway 6 is the place where W.W. Clyde wants to put in a temporary quarry for fill to supply the new Helper interchange construction project that will be going on for the next year.|
Helper residents may soon have the chance to weigh in on whether a temporary crushing facility will be allowed to operate within city limits. At a city council meeting on Thursday, representatives from WW Clyde, the contractor responsible for constructing the Helper interchange, told councilmembers of their intent to locate a crushing facility near U.S. Highway 6 on the south end of Helper.
Crushing and paving supervisors for WW Clyde had looked at a handful of sites in and around Helper that would be suitable for the amount of material needed. To construct the interchange, construction crews will need close to 200,000 tons of material in various sizes.
Alternate sites included locations in Spring Canyon, near the Helper Cemetery and on the road to Kenilworth. All three of those options involve taking heavy truck traffic through residential areas. Distances to and from the construction site are also longer.
The location near Highway 6 would allow contractors to better maneuver haul trucks at the site.
The contractor has selected a site on property currently owned by Bob Hoggatt. The west edge of the property is near or on side of a hill where road materials could be extracted. Currently, the hill has between a three-to-one and a four-to-one slope. If the crushing facility is approved, approximately 10 acres will be disturbed, the end result having an approximate two-to-one slope. The hillside will be reseeded with natural grasses and other vegetation as part of the reclamation process.
One of the problems that the contractor faces is that the area is zoned as a commercial area. Under Helper's zoning ordinances, quarry and mining operations, such as the facility proposed on the Hoggatt property, are not allowed in any commercial zone.
Councilmember Dean Armstrong told the council that the planning and zoning commission was looking at options that would place more restrictions on the industrial zones, where quarries and mines are permitted.
The council can approve an exception to the zoning ordinances and issue a conditional use permit to the contractor. However, members of the council requested that the matter be forwarded to the planning and zoning commission for review.
In most cases, the planning and zoning commission helps property owners and developers create a plan that is in compliance with city ordinances. Once a workable plan is developed, the commission forwards recommendations to the council.
Members of the council said they felt uncomfortable either approving or denying the facility without hearing from the planning and zoning commission first.
Plans for the facility indicate that hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. over a period of four month, beginning in October of this year and terminating before the end of March 2007.
Since operations are slated for winter months, dust will be less of a problem. Contractor representatives said they planned to keep dust to a minimum by keeping materials wet during the crushing process. in addition, finished product will be kept wet in order to maintain quality and dust suppression.
Representatives of the contractor told councilmembers that an archaeological survey of the area has been performed as well as an endangered species survey. Both surveys gave clearance for the facility to go ahead.
If the facility is approved, the contractor will be required to post a bond with state, which will not be released until the private land owners and city and state officials sign off on satisfactory reclamation efforts.
Both Mayor Mike Dalpiaz and Councilmember John Jones indicated a willingness to waive fees for the contractor in relation with the temporary crushing facility.
WW Clyde will be building the Helper interchange with a finishing date slated for late 2007. The interchange will cost more than $16 million.