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Residents say 'no' to Lafarge expansion

Action was not taken in the Town of Lockport Wednesday, after a group of more than 50 residents were in attendance at the board meeting, many expressing their opposition to the expansion of Lafarge North America’s quarry on Hinman Road.

A public hearing was held on the issue, which if approved would amend a zoning ordinance and allow Lafarge to move approximately 150 feet closer to roadway. The quarry’s border currently ends 300 feet from Hinman Road.

Perry Galdenzi, area manager for Lafarge, stated they are one of the major employers in the town and they are running out of aggregate in the south quarry that meet Department of Transportation requirements for ready-mix and asphalt.

“If we can’t provide DOT products, we’re not in business,” he said. “This is important not only for Lafarge but for the Town of Lockport and Niagara County.”

This 162-foot increase would allow Lafarge to stay in business an additional year and a half to two years.

Lafarge currently employs 46 people, 45 of which live in the county.

Many of the residents that spoke Wednesday had two major concerns, that amount of trucks passing on the roadways around the quarry and the loud noises they create, and their properties shaking and being damaged from the blasting.

Resident James Mulrenin, a Hinman Road resident, said he lives one and a half miles away from the quarry and his house shakes, which decreases the value of his home.

“There is enough problems as is, we don’t need more,” he said.

Claudette Lemieux, a Murphy Road resident, expressed her concerns on the blasting coming closer to their property line. She said this is hurting residents foundations and driveways, and it will only get worse if they move closer to the roadway.

Another Murphy Road resident said they recently moved into their home because at the time it was a quiet community. Deciding to add a patio to the home, Pete Frawley said if they sit outside they hear the rock crusher running all night.

They also have to brace themselves at 10:58 a.m. everyday for the blasting.

He said pictures fall off the wall and windows and doors rattle. The family also lost a dish that was given to them on their wedding day, signed by all in attendance, which smashed into pieces after one of the blasting.

Frawley also said his newer home is being affected and questioned what must be happening to his neighbors homes, many of which are older farm houses.

Living on Hinman Road for less than a year, one resident expressed concern for the safety of her five children. She said she worries about walking her kids along the road and trucks driving by, possible throwing rocks off the back.

Supervisor Marc Smith said the council now has several questions to ask Lafarge before approving the amendment to the zoning law. Action will take place at a future date.
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