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Home » Issue Areas » Lehigh and Quarrying » Newspaper Articles » 2008

Plant manager says company still collecting information

Lehigh Cement Co. has postponed a community meeting on how it plans to transport rock from New Windsor to its quarry in Union Bridge.

The meeting had been tentatively scheduled for the end of the second quarter, either in June or July. Lehigh Plant Manager Kent Martin said he is still fully committed to having a community meeting, but the company is still in the information-gathering stage and is not ready to present a plan to the community.

“We’re studying [options] and trying to get answers,” Martin said.

Community members from the New Windsor Community Action Project, or NEWCAP, have raised concerns about one of the company’s possible options: to build a conveyor system to transport the stone the five miles between the two locations. The area between the two destinations has a lot of acreage protected by agricultural land easements, and community members have said they do not want to see that land compromised for industry.

Ralph Robertson, ag land preservation program manager for Carroll County, said he received a request from one landowner to take a lot from a property under an ag preservation easement, in relation to Lehigh’s desire line up a footprint of where a conveyor system could be built. However, that request was withdrawn before it went forward to the Carroll County Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board.

Robertson said the landowner withdrew the request so that more information could be included before it went before the board.

Expecting the request to be resubmitted, Robertson said he has organized a staff meeting for Tuesday with his department, representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, and the county attorney to discuss what the policy is for alterations to all types of ag land preservation easements used in the county.

Robertson said this will be a closed meeting because it is intended for staff members to meet and discuss legal information. However, county officials have decided to admit one member of NEWCAP, as was requested by NEWCAP President George Maloney.