Supervisors OK quarry plan in St. Thomas

November 20, 2003|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - The St. Thomas Township Supervisors voted unanimously late Wednesday to approve a preliminary plan for a controversial quarry complex proposed by the St. Thomas Development Corp.

The supervisors were subjected to cries of "No guts," "You're pathetic" and "liar" by residents in the audience after Supervisor Tim Sollenberger made the motion to approve the plan and David C. Ramer seconded it.

The vote came with conditions, which include:

  • PennDOT review and approve the modifications of Campbells Run Road.

  • The existing vegetation be preserved.

  • The corporation maintain liability insurance.

  • The corporation obtain DEP approval of the sewer system, the concrete and asphalt plants and the quarry.

The limestone quarry and concrete and asphalt plants are proposed for a 180-acre tract of land on U.S. 30 west of St. Thomas.


The quarry project is proposed by St. Thomas Development Corp., owned by Tony DePaul and Son of Blue Bell, Pa.

Township Supervisors Chairman Edmund Herald assured residents attending Wednesday night's meeting that at least one DEP hearing would be held in the township to address their concerns.

Numerous residents have spoken out against the proposed quarry over the past few months, including at Wednesday night's meeting. About 45 people attended Wednesday's meeting.

Herald said at the beginning of the meeting that he was looking for statements for a legal grounds on which a negative action can be taken against the project.

Several residents asked the supervisors, if they are going to approve the project, to do it on a conditional-use basis.

Write-in supervisor candidate Frank Stearn said, "We don't understand the effects the quarry will have on St. Thomas. They will be subject to future ordinances."

Stearn, who challenged incumbent supervisor Ramer in the Nov. 4 election, encouraged the township to work with the regulatory agencies. The election was too close to call even after the Franklin County Board of Elections counted the votes on Nov. 7 and 10.

After residents were given about one hour to speak about the project, Herald addressed a list of concerns by residents. He said that many of the concerns - such as acid rain and water pollution - do not fall under the supervisors' authority, but under the DEP.

"We don't have the authority. We'll bring it up and make sure the DEP will look into it," he said.

Much of the discussion focused on the extension of the sewer line to include the quarry. Six homes on the south side of U.S. 30 would have to connect to the sewer line, which would have to be dug under the highway, greatly increasing the cost.

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