Commission Reacts To Quarry Opposition
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
Opposition to a proposed rock quarry at the intersection of John Bragg Hwy. and Bradyville Road was expressed in many ways during Saturday's (Oct. 15) meeting of the Cannon County Commission.
No words were spoken more eloquently and forcefully than by Readyville resident Bonnie Thomas.
"I request that a Special Session of the Commission be called for the purpose of solving a past, a current and a future problem that we all face here in Cannon County," Thomas began.
"We must establish some level of control over new businesses. Businesses which would have a negative impact on our community at large. Regulation and zoning must be addressed."
Thomas is co-chairman of a citizens committee which has been formed to collect signatures on a petition trying to stop the project.
"Our struggle to stop the newly-planned Stones River Quarry at John Bragg Hwy. and Bradyville Rd. would not be necessary had we acted decisively after the appalling Arts Center cement factory fiasco (referring to the current operation across from the Cannon County Arts Center).
"Welcome to Woodbury!
"Our struggle to stop the newest planned quarry is not an easy one — now — and we need help from every corner and every individual
"What new problem awaits us next month? We are easy pickins'. Murfreesboro is set to explode in our direction now.
"Establishing regulation and zoning may seem like a daunting task ... but start with new rock quarries along John Bragg Hwy. and Bradyville Rd. ... and go from there. See what could be hazardous or inappropriate in the area of a school ... and go from there.
"See what is undesirable — that precludes that which is desirable. Have an avenue open to evaluate what is suspect.
"Many counties have worked through these zoning issues with success and happy citizens. We have left the doors to the county unsecured and wide open for ... whatever.
"If you, the county executive and commissioners have ever felt that you lacked community support ... look again. Look again at those of us who are fighting this planned quarry.
"The problem today is in 'our' back yards, but perhaps in 'your' back yards tomorrow. Hopefully we are here to help each other.
Please begin without fail — and without delay. Thank you for your every effort."
After Thomas and others spoke against the proposed rock quarry, the county commissioners took a number of actions:
• Approved a motion to instruct the Planning Commission to study the pros and cons of zoning laws for Cannon County.
• Approved a motion to send a letter as a body to the county's state representative and to state officials overseeing the permitting process, expressing opposition to the proposed quarry.
• Approved a motion to send a letter as a body to the Tennessee Department of Transportation requesting a traffic study of the intersection.
Another resident of the area, Matt Studd, said, "We are counting on our commissioners to stand up and protect our county. We need to explore every option of stopping this damage."
Among other business matters conducted during the quarterly meeting the commission:
• Approval of commission committees for 2011-2012, including Beer Board, Ambulance, Law Enforcement, Budget, Public Works, Insurance, Fire, Planning, Field, Industrial, Property, 911 Board, Agriculture, Public and Historic Records, Joint Economic and Development Board, Library Board, Recreation and Homeland Security.
Of particular note is that the Budget Committee was expanded from five to seven members, and now includes one commissioner from each district. Roy Sullivan was added to the Homeland Security Committee, and Regina Reed replaced Faye Northcutt-Knox on the Library Board.
• Members were named to the recently-formed Audit Committee. They are: Glenn Steakley, Pat Sissom, Hope Tenpenny, Ed Sissom and Gary Hancock.
• Elected the following persons as notaries: Shannon C. Bacon, Anita Parton, Dana Parton, Teena Cooper, Regina Mullins, Douglas Jennings, Mary Shannon Grandey, Alisha N. Reed, Erin Nichols, Stephanie Hamby and Melissa Ann Allen.
• Approval of budget amendments for the Cannon County School System, the Cannon County Election Commission, the Cannon County Sheriff's Department and the Cannon County Library System.
• Commissioners approved resolution 2011-16 to establish a occupational safety and health program. Voting no on the resolution were Jim Bush and Bob Stoetzel.
• Stoetzel was nominated and approved to serve on the Regional Solid Waste Board.
• John Naylor chief of the Westside Fire Department approached the Commission once again about the need for a pumper. They were instructed to find out what grants are available to fund the truck. The grants aren't available until 2012. The County is currently paying on a note for a fire truck for the Mooretown Fire Department and the Commissioners agreed to look into a recommendation from the Fire Board in the $65,000 range in the spring when the Mooretown truck is paid off.