A local contractor is suing Eddington over a moratorium that would affect plans to build a quarry in town.
Last fall Hughes Brothers applied for a permit to build a quarry 1400 feet off Fox Lane in Eddington.
They also learned of a moratorium on future quarry applications in town.
“The planning board assured us at that time that the moratorium would not affect Hughes brothers’ application,” said Janet Hughes, Environmental Manager at Hughes Brothers.
The company says town leaders then held a secret session changing the moratorium.
“This time with the caveat that it be retroactive for 180 days,” said Hughes.
That means if voters approve it April 8th, the moratorium would effectively block the quarry, for now. So Hughes is suing the town.
“They’re not being transparent,” said Hughes.
Hughes Brothers is proposing building the quarry on five acres off Fox Lane, but eventually they hope to expand that to 20 acres.
“I have very bad asthma and I go to the hospital every once in a while with it. And I couldn’t stand any dust. I’d have to move, that’s all,” said Josephine Camick, who lives on Fox Lane.
James McLeod lives on Fox Lane and has two young children.
“My biggest concern is the atomized silica. When that releases after blasting, it can affect–it’s a really bad carcinogen and it can cause cancer,” said McLeod.
Regarding neighbors’ complaints about potential environmental and health issues, as well as the proposed site’s proximity to the Eddington School, Hughes said, “I do not think those concerns are valid. Hughes Brothers has spent a considerable amount of time and energy to address those concerns.”
If the moratorium passes, Hughes brothers say they will pursue another quarry location for which they already have a permit, a site that’s closer to homes.
“It isn’t the right thing to do, but we would have no other choice. We spent way too much time and money and investments to just walk away,” said Hughes.
McLeod said if the plan were to move forward, he would consider moving.
“Yeah, we would have to at some point, because we’re not going to die over this, over the house. But we will fight and we will continue to fight until the last day that we can,” said McLeod.
The Eddington Town Manager did not respond to our request for an interview Wednesday.