Tobyville residents, quarry owner at odds over rock crusher impact

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

Collier Materials in Burnet County has applied for a air quality permit with the state to construct a rock crusher at one of its quarry sites in the Tobyville area. Photo Courtesy http://colliermaterials.com/

TOBYVILLE — Opponents of a proposed rock crusher on a quarry property in the Tobyville area have cited concerns about groundwater quality, truck traffic and dust, while the owner contends he’s a “good neighbor” in a growing industry.

Collier Materials is seeking approval of a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air quality permit to build a facility at one of the company’s quarries, located in the 4600 block of FM 1980 (Tobyville Road) in Burnet County.

Collier has two so-called “pit operations” within a few miles of one another connected by CR 120.

Guy Taylor, a resident of Northwest Oaks, is among residents who have attended public meetings and voiced concerns about the expansion of the industry operations.

“Go down and look at CR 120, at how many times they’ve patched the road,” Taylor said. “It’s costing taxpayers road money to fix.

“Landowners can’t sell their property,” he said. “(The proposed rock crusher) is going to affect the neighbors as far as groundwater, dust collection.”

Owner Stan Collier believes the concerns by nearby residents are overblown.

“There will not be anymore trucking than there is right now,” he said. “It’s an over-sized material we’re going to crush that we really don’t have much of a market for.”

Collier added that he avoids night-time work, so his operations run during the day for about 10 hours.

“They complain about the water also,” he said. “I’ve been at the Toby site for seven years and nobody has complained about water, or anything until we applied for the rock crusher.”

Taylor says he and his neighbors believe little can be done to halt the expansion of the mining industry but will continue vocal opposition and support legislative efforts to keep it out of his backyard.

“We have the right of the enjoyment of our property without dealing with dust and contamination of our groundwater,” he said. “There is no contesting allowed.”

Collier said he faces no groundwater quality violations and provides a much-needed resource for jobs and growth.

“Most people moved in here and these plants were already here,” Collier said. “We do want to be a good neighbor. I feel like we have been.”

connie@thepicayune.com

5 Responses to “Tobyville residents, quarry owner at odds over rock crusher impact”

  1. Jeannie says:

    Stan Collier caused us to have to sell our property to him due to his plans to start a gravel pit operation next to us. We had just met with our home builder, put in a road to the home site and fenced our property. He called wanting to buy our property and when I told him we wern’t Interested he said “well, there’s gonna be a big hole there.” A good neighbor????

    • steve says:

      Did he say there was going to be a big hole in your property or his? And if he caused you to sell then who did you sell it too?

      • Jeannie says:

        A big hole in his – we shared an adjoining fence. We sold to him because we couldn’t live right next to his gravel pit operations; who else would’ve bought our property under the circumstance. Also, who would buy our home if we had to sell with a gravel pit next door?

        • steve says:

          So basically you willing sold to him. Did you get more selling to him then you would have on the open market? Alot of times a company is willing to pay more then an individual might.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Where will all the output from Mr. Collier’s quarry and the one proposed on HWY 281 go??? What is the crushed rock used for? I see many train car loads shipped from the quarry on Hwy 281 located by the railway between Marble Falls and Burnet and have noted the railroad tracks winding around the property, noting it must have many customers far away from this area.

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