Red Cliff nixes quarry
Red Cliff, CO Colorado
RED CLIFF –Red Cliff won’t be adding a chapter to its mining history.
Town officials on Monday voted down a proposed stone quarry.
ACA Products, of Buena Vista, wanted the town to annex land for a stone quarry for up to15 years. The developers also planned to build homes on the land once the quarry operation ended. An original proposal called for 10 homes but that was whittled down to one home, Red Cliff Mayor Ramon Montoya said.
Red Cliff’s council voted 3-2 to defeat the quarry, Montoya said. Garrett Scahill, Duane Nelson and Dan Wallace voted to defeat the quarry. Betty Sandoval and Montoya voted against defeating the quarry. Adam Williams excused himself from the vote because he is new to the board, Montoya said.
Nelson said the quarry wasn’t a good fit for the town.
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“There were unanswered questions that I felt should still be addressed,” he said.
The long-term committment, which would have added up to 17 years with getting permits for the project, made Nelson uncomfortable.
“What happens down the road – there are just too many unknowns for me to make a decision for people who are going to be living in the town for the next 17 years,” he said.
Montoya said he voted in favor of the quarry because he felt it would generate tax revenue for the town.
“I think that it was an industrial-type project that was far enough removed from town and the benefits as far as income, while not significant, was still a benefit to the town coffers,” he said.
Mike Coleman, operations manager for ACA Products, declined to comment on the vote or say whether his company planned to return with another proposal.
“We’re still weighing our options on it,” he said.
The land in question spans 30 acres off Highway 24, about two miles south of Red Cliff, Coleman said. The quarry would have taken up about 10 acres of the land, which stands just south of the intersection with Homestake Road, he said.
Barb Bomier, a Red Cliff resident, said she was happy with the board’s decision.
“Whether it was annexed or not, a quarry or strip mine along a scenic byway doesn’t sit well with me,” she said. “Our future’s in recreation and tourism. I don’t think that goes along with that.”
Bomier said she didn’t buy the developer’s claim that a quarry would bring financial benefits to the town.
“I really didn’t think the financial benefits outweighted the liabilities,” she said. “If there was some kind of environmental mishap, the town could have been sued.”
Staff writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.