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Residents fight against proposed second mine

Dewitt Township residents are against a proposed mine that would put a community in the middle of two mining operations.
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:32 PM EDT
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DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) -Residents that live on Boichot and Clark Roads in Dewitt Township are in a tricky spot.

As if one mine wasn’t enough for them to deal with, now they’re fighting to keep a second mine from being built.

Dewitt Township residents are against a proposed mine that would put a community in the middle of two mining operations.
Dewitt Township residents are against a proposed mine that would put a community in the middle of two mining operations.(WILX)

“I have been living in my home since 1957,” said Clark Rd. resident Faye Hagy. “I’ve seen many changes, some good and some not so good, for example, someone wanting to mine across the street from our homes.”

This isn’t the first time a mine has been proposed at this site; it was first shot down back in 2008.

Residents are reaching out to the planning commission in hopes that they'd be able to get it shot down again.

“They approved this plan without any real discussion with us, and it felt like we were being ignored,” said resident Rebecca Stimson.

Residents are frustrated, saying it’s an uphill battle.

“We’re going to be sandwiched between two mining operations,” said Bradley Throop, a resident off Boichot Rd. “It wasn’t like this when we moved here.”

“That’s absolutely unthinkable....We have 93 homes that are directly affected by this,” said Hagy.

Residents say the township told them there’s not much they can do.

Dewitt Township Manager Andrew Dymczyk says that is in fact the case.

“In 2016, mining regulations were addressed in a legislative change and that reinstated the Very Serious Consequence Rule, which limited our ability to prohibit or oversee these types of operations.”

Some of those “Very Serious Consequences” include quality of life, pollution, and even home value.

People that live on Boichot and in the White Oaks neighborhood argue that they won’t be able to sell their homes.

“When you have two operational mines, it’s going to impact it,” said resident Lisa Moye. “I’m hopeful the full board will look at the arguments we’re presenting, and agree with us.”

Schlegel Sand and Gravel would be mining from the proposed site; Co-Owner Mark Schlegel says he’s heard from those residents. He also adds there aren’t many more options for where to mine.

“I reached out to every single one of them, we agreed to disagree. We don’t get to choose where the material is. It’s something that we have to have in order to provide infrastructure.”

Residents say they plan on having a protest in front of the mine’s proposed entrance on Clark road.

The proposal will have to be approved by the township board on July 27th.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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