COLLINS - The town of Collins residents will be able to voice their opinions once again in regard to a mining permit. The Collins Town Board will hold a public hearing on July 22 on the Vail Road mining permit held by Gernatt Gravel Asphalt Products.
Gernatt Gravel holds a special use permit for a gravel pit on Vail Road from 1974. The town previously held a public hearing in 2011 on the matter and the public comment period has been extended several times.
The company is seeking to change the terms of the special use permit and is asking to change the requirements for the setback from the road, among others. The current setback is 250 feet but Gernatt Gravel would like to change that to 25 feet from the roadways. Since there are electrical poles on the south side of the roadway, the setback would be 69 feet due to a 44-foot variance already in existence.
The original setback of 250 feet was set in the 1970s with the mindset of residents potentially building houses in the area. Since Gernatt Gravel now owns the surrounding property, there is no possibility of the property being purchased. Gernatt Gravel would also like to expand the acreage coverage to 69.25 acres, an increase of 12.25 acres from the current 57-acre pit size. Mining will also come within 8 to 10 feet of the closest spring box by mining down 50 feet. The state Department of Conservation also requested a SEQR and hydrogeological study to be performed following the first public hearing, which have both been completed.
If the town board does not approve the modifications, the permit from 1974 will still be in effect and Gernatt Gravel can still mine on Vail Road. The public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. at the town hall.
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