The Boone County Commission unanimously approved a request Tuesday from APAC-Missouri Inc. to build a temporary asphalt plant in Hartsburg, despite eight neighbors speaking in opposition. APAC brought its plan to the commission after the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission denied the request.
Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin said that of all places, the quarry in Hartsburg is most suitable for an asphalt plant.
The plant will be on a 100-acre tract about 20 miles south of Columbia. It will provide asphalt needed to repave U.S. 63 between Ashland and Jefferson City. APAC has a plant, Boone Quarries, that will make asphalt for the northern portion of the highway between Columbia and Ashland. The new temporary plant will cover the southern part of the repaving project.
Neighbors cited possible problems such as pollution, noise, odor and negative health effects from an asphalt plant.
The plant would operate from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., which could raise concerns about people being able to sleep, said David Bandre, a representative of the Lake Champetra Home Owners Association.
Bandre also listed pollutants that would come from the plant and would be dangerous to those in the area.
Two residents who are selling homes in the Lake Champetra neighborhood spoke at the meeting and said building an asphalt plant would decrease property values.
Residents also added that APAC should look for other possible locations for a plant.
Brett Geger, environmental manager for APAC, addressed many of these concerns. The site for the plant is surrounded by hills, forests and the highway; the nearest home is about 1,000 feet away.
Most of the odor would come from dust created while paving the highway, Geger said. The company plans to use a substance that would control the dust.
Geger also said APAC adheres to all Environmental Protection Agency regulations that were created to protect residents.
The plant is necessary to allow for repaving of U.S. 63, which is integral to Amendment 3, which was passed by citizens of Missouri who want better roads, said Mike Anderson, operations engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. The proposed location allows for immediate access to the highway and will minimize impact to the driving public, Anderson said.
Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller said they have a responsibility to the citizens and the driving public and the quicker the road can be done, the safer it will be.
In other business, the Boone County Commission approved a request from Cingular Wireless for a cell phone tower, originally proposed on a 115-acre tract at 1111 E. Oakland Church Road. The Planning and Zoning Commission had denied the request.
The proposed site for the tower moved northwest and is now 600 feet from the home of a resident who spoke at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, concerned that the tower would be too close. The neighbor did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.
The tower, at 180 feet, would be screened by trees and the area would have a chain-link fence around it, said John King, attorney for Cingular Wireless.
The tower would improve cell phone reception in the area, focusing on the intersection of Missouri 763 and U.S. 63.
Elkin was the only commissioner to speak in opposition to adding the cell phone tower. He said he finds it hard to believe that a more out-of-the-way site could not be found, and that the new location is not much of an improvement.