Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 8, 2014

Lafarge gets planning approval

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lafarge North America's Lockport operations needs to expand its quarry in order to stay in business, officials said Monday as the company received the city Planning Board's recommendation for expansion on Hinman Road.

At a meeting Monday, the Planning Board granted a two-year extraction permit and recommended to the Common Council a one-year special-use permit be granted to Lafarge.

Lafarge is seeking approval for mining a 15-acre city parcel it purchased about six years ago. The company intends to mine stone from 9.1 acres of that parcel.

The expansion, which is at what is still officially called Redlands Quarry, even though Lafarge acquired the business several years ago, is near a 162-foot-wide strip on the edge of the quarry that the Town of Lockport allowed Lafarge to mine in December 2012.

The recommendation was made conditional on a report from Norman D. Allen, city director of engineering and public works. Allen will investigate whether or not the blasting at the quarry will affect the city’s water supply line, which runs along Hinman.

The current Lafarge quarry on the north side of Hinman employs about 40 people, Lafarge manager Perry Galdenzi said. About half of the business is providing asphalt that meets state Department of Transportation standards for use in road and bridge projects.

“We’re desperately trying to find the good stone so we can stay in business,” said Kevin Brown, an attorney for Lafarge, told the Planning Board.

David Chamberlain, a construction company owner and Planning Board member, voiced support for the expansion.

“I’ve been using that stone since 1972, when I started my construction business. This is a necessary part of our economy in Niagara County," he said.

Lafarge said the town strip combined with the city parcel will keep Lafarge going in Lockport for another three to five years. The company is seeking permission from the Town of Lockport to expand to the south side of Hinman, where Lafarge has bought property in recent years. Brown said state and town approval of that expansion will take about two years.

Geologist John Hellert told Planning Board members that only some parts of the quarry have DOT-quality stone, although the remaining stone is still usable for commercial projects.

Hellert said he doesn’t blasting that will be a problem.

“Blasting can be tailored to the conditions,” he said.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.